Back at it!

I have had a seriously crazy couple of weeks in regards to homework, holy cow!  I had some major cheat days (hello flour tacos from Tasty Taco??), but have been for the most part sticking to the low FODMAP diet.  Despite the chaos, I still had some time to try out a few new recipes and tried to snag some pictures when I remembered!  Here are the ones that I can remember:

Skinny Baked Lemon Dill Mahi Mahi: I didn’t have fresh dill so just used the dried that I had and I subbed my homemade coconut milk yogurt for the cream cheese.  It turned out super yummy!

mahi mahi

mahi mahi

Roasted Fennel & Quinoa Crunch Salad: I made this as a side for a family dinner and everyone thought it was great!  The roasted fennel was really good and all of the flavors and textures melded together really well.  I think I might make it again this weekend, especially now that I have a HUGE bag of quinoa courtesy of CostCo!

fennel quinoa salad

fennel quinoa salad

Carrot Fries: This looked really tasty and super easy, though it was harder to find the matchstick style carrots than I expected.  I found a bag at Trader Joe’s for $1.69.  I was very underwhelmed by it, not as crispy as I had hoped and they shrunk up super small- did not look like the picture on the website.  They weren’t bad, but I wouldn’t bother making them again.

Grilled Lemon Chicken Thighs with Tabbouleh: I have use this recipe before for chicken thighs and it is so easy and they turn out so yummy!  If you are afraid of grilling chicken because you think it will dry out, try thighs.  I always overcook chicken breasts on the grill, but thighs have enough fat that they stay nice and moist.  For the tabbouleh, I used quinoa instead of bulgar and added some chopped spinach.  Great meal!

Parmesan butternut squash: Yum!  I’ve had a squash hanging around for probably a month now that I keep meaning to use, so I finally had time to chop it up last night and decided to give it a try with parmesan cheese instead of my usual cinnamon and ginger.  I liked it!  The hubby said he liked it better with cinnamon, so I guess it’s a matter of preference.

Pumpkin Quinoa Flake Microwave Muffin: I’ve been wanting to make something like this since I got my quinoa flakes, so I finally had time one morning when I had off work.  I used ground chia seeds instead of flaxseed and 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup instead of Truvia.  It was very tasty but very filling so I saved half for the next day’s breakfast.

pumpkin quinoa muffin

pumpkin quinoa muffin

Oats & Amaranth Granola: I went through my last granola batch super fast- it was so good!  I wanted to try a slightly different variety and was wondering if steel cut oats would work.  I found a recipe that used steel cut oats as well as amaranth, which I bought quite a while ago.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, though added some pumpkin seeds and ground chia, as well as an egg white.  I added golden raisins and dried cranberries after it was cooked because I felt they stuck in my teeth in the last batch since I had baked them with the rest of the granola.  It turned out very good again, though honestly, I could do without the amaranth.  They are these tiny seeds and get stuck in my teeth, though do help to give a little bit more of a crunch.  I’ll probably use them again at some point so I can use up the bag, but don’t think I’ll use them every time.

oat & amaranth granola

oat & amaranth granola

Mint Chocolate Chip Vegan Ice Cream: Just tonight I made this up- sooo good!  I had bananas already frozen in the freezer and several avocados hanging out from my trip to CostCo.  I made a pretty big batch so that my family can try some this weekend, so it was probably 5-6 frozen bananas, 1.5 avocados, 1 tsp mint extract, 1 cup homemade coconut-oat milk, and 1-2 tbsp maple syrup.  It was awesome!!  I used a mix of Trader Joe’s chocolate chips and EnjoyLife’s dark chocolate chips.

mint choc chip vegan ice cream

mint choc chip vegan ice cream

This week has mostly been eating on the chicken thighs that we grilled up as well as the whole chicken I roasted in the crock pot.  I used some of the chicken to make my version of “ave paltas,” my favorite Chilean sandwich.  It is just chopped up chicken, avocados, lime juice, salt and pepper, and a little bit of garlic olive oil mixed up and put on bread with a tomato.  For my bread, I made the GF instant flatbread several times.  This is a great, fast bread especially now that I’ve been mixing dried rosemary into the dough.

I haven’t had much brain power to do meal planning the last few weeks, but hope to get back to that this weekend.  I have a lot of options now that I made it to CostCo!

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One and a half months in…

I know I’ve been a little MIA lately.. just haven’t had a lot of new things to report!  I would really say that my stomach has been completely hit or miss, which is no different than before I even started on this diet, so I’m a little perplexed by that.  My husband keeps saying that if it’s not working, then just stop doing it, but I really am trying to see this thing through.  Plus, I’m waiting to hear the results from my urine test to see if that tells us anything, one way or the other.

I was a little inspired yesterday after hearing the Hy-Vee nutritionist speak at a luncheon about how eating right is really the “cure” so to speak for all the illness in our society.  If people would just put good, natural stuff into their body in the first place, so much disease could be avoided!  So even if my stomach is still a little “wonky,” I know that it is helping me, for the most part, put better quality food into my body.  One person at the luncheon asked about how to go about buying healthy food when it’s so much more expensive, and the nutritionist talked about how good for you foods may be more expensive, but they keep you fuller so you don’t need to eat as much.  Plus, she added, when people say they can’t afford healthy food, but decide they simply MUST have the latest designer shoes, that maybe we need to get our priorities straight here and think about how the food we eat today affects how our body will be years from now, whereas the latest fashion will be gone quickly.  That really helped me to realize that I want to eat healthier and try to cut down on the chemicals and additives and just try to eat healthy grains and produce and meat, even if that means spending more money on groceries and cutting back in other areas.

One change that I do think has helped is trying to eat protein at breakfast and cutting out the cereal completely.  I do feel like in the mornings I have more energy and while I still need a bit of a snack before lunch, I’m never starving.  SO I would highly recommend trying to add more protein to your breakfast!!

I have also been finding inspiration for recipes and healthy living on my latest obsession- Pinterest!  This weekend I might give a few a whirl, possibly to include Black Bean Brownies.  I realize also that if I could just get myself to plan meals more often, then I wouldn’t get into such ruts, but that’s just something that I continue to struggle with.

My final thought was just a very quick, easy meal that I made last night that turned out well:

Black Bean & Butternut squash Pasta

  • 1/2 butternut squash, cooked
  • 2 servings of rotini shaped brown rice pasta
  • 1 can salmon, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • A swirl or two of olive oil
  • Tiny bit of garlic powder
  • Shake of dried basil
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook brown rice pasta in boiling water. Do not overcook. Al Dente is at 7 minutes from the boil. You want the pasta to have a very very slight crunch. (Rice pasta has the tendency to turn to mush when overcooked.).
  2. Drain pasta. Add oil to prevent sticking.
  3. If haven’t already, remove squash from skin. Add the butternut squash, black beans, spices and salmon to a bowl and microwave (this cools quickly, so make sure it’s hot).  Add this mixture to pasta and eat!