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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Day 1 Foods & Lessons Learned

I started my morning with some oatmeal for breakfast:

yummy oatmeal!

yummy oatmeal!

Then I ran all over town to gather ingredients so I felt prepared to tackle this first week.  I read LOTS of ingredients labels and discovered many surprises, like you can’t get sun-dried tomatoes in oil without garlic.  The most pleasant surprise I found was that Trader Joe’s carries goat milk yogurt!!  And it was a reasonable price!  I decided to give it a try, since I’m eliminating yogurt for a few weeks.

goat milk- who knew?

goat milk- who knew?

I did a quick taste test of it and well, I wouldn’t recommend it plain!  I mixed it with some berries and maple syrup to bring for lunch this week and it seemed more palatable with the maple syrup.
**FOLLOW UP**  So ya know how I thought goat’s milk was lactose free??  WRONG!  Darn it, I had it in my head that this was okay on the FODMAP diet, but it’s not!  Boooo..  I will aim to give it a try at the end of the week and see how I feel.  I suppose I might not be able to stand the taste anyways! But definitely a bummer, I thought for sure I might have found a reasonable, lactose-free yogurt, but no dice.  I might end up biting the bullet and buying a yogurt maker.

For my lunch today, I had some spaghetti squash that I cooked up earlier this week with my homemade marinara, spinach, tomatoes, and feta.  Feta supposedly is lactose free, so I’m keeping it in the diet at least this week.

yuummm

yuummm

A sad lesson I learned today from my cupboard is that I do not have as much GF flour as I thought.  My homemade coconut flour went bad!!!  I should have known better, next round will definitely be kept in the freezer.  Also, I bought a big bag of GF flour mix from CostCo a few weeks ago, before I had started thinking about this diet.  Well, I looked at the ingredients closer and it unfortunately has flaxseed AND buckwheat in it!  Argh..  I haven’t opened it yet, so I might see if it is returnable.  What a bummer though, it was a pretty good deal.

I just made up one of my favorite pumpkin bar recipes, using GF flour from Trader Joe’s and Ener-G Egg Replacer and they sure are smelling good!  That will make a nice treat to have on hand when I need something sweet.  I did use brown sugar because I wasn’t sure how well replacing it with maple syrup would turn out.

Dinner is a  little tricky because we are bringing food to my friend who is in the hospital.  She requested pizza, which since she is GF, narrows down the locations to buy from.  Since we will be downtown, I knew that Fong’s Pizza has a GF crust option, so I checked to see if any of them would be something I could have.  My main concern was marinara sauce since it is a 100% guarantee that would have garlic and onions, but they have a Mediterranean pizza that just uses olive oil and all of the toppings are things that I can have except onions, so that’s an easy fix!  Yay, I thought I was going to have to get a salad or bring my own food which would have been a bummer.