Pizza!! Cheese!!

This week I never got around to doing a meal plan.. le sigh..  Luckily, that’s what Pinterest is for!  I found this pretty easy sounding GF pizza crust using quinoa, so I thought I would give it a try.  I soaked the quinoa overnight; I decided to make two because I always figure if you’re going to make a mess, might as well make double the mess!  I omitted the garlic and seasoned it with dried rosemary and some tumeric.  To give it a little more flavor, I used garlic olive oil to cook it in instead of just regular.  I cooked it on the stove in a full size cast iron skillet and thought it worked great!

quinoa pizza crust

quinoa pizza crust

double the yum!

double the yum!

I froze one and let the other one sit out, awaiting toppings for dinner.  For the sauce, I mashed up half of an avocado with some lime juice, garlic olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Then I topped it with tomatoes, black olives, spinach, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, and some dried rosemary.  It was awesome!!  It is pretty filling crust, so even though it was only about 9 inches, I still was very satisfied just having half for dinner and saving the other half for the next day.

GF pizza!!

GF pizza!!

I also made tacos this week, which really weren’t any different than I always made them: with no taco seasoning.  I’ve never liked taco seasoning, so several years ago I just started making my meat separate from the hubby’s and that works fine.  I added smoked paprika, tumeric, some garlic olive oil spray, and salt and pepper.  I used corn tortillas from Trader Joe’s and just warmed them up on the stove.

Tonight I made Gouda & Spinach Stuffed Pork Chops- they turned out great!  I found the recipe in a random magazine and made some adjustments based on what I had on hand and my dietary needs.  The recipe called for thick pork chops and we only had small, thin ones, so instead of trying to stuff anything into them, I decided to just stack them!  This worked out very well, though eating “one” was really too much since it was really two pork chops, so we each just ate a half.  Here’s my recipe:

6 thin pork chops
3 slices smoked Gouda
3 handfuls of torn, fresh spinach
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard (Hy-Vee brand actually is low FODMAP safe)
1/2 cup or so of almond meal

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a glass dish.  I spread a small squirt of mustard on each pork chop then dipped it in the almond meal.  I placed one pork chop, almond meal down, in the dish then put a slice of smoked Gouda and then piled on a handful of spinach.  Then I stacked another pork chop, almond meal up, on top.  Cooked for 35 minutes.  Husband approved!!  Though I do have to admit, I think anything you put that smoked Gouda on is going to taste good 🙂

gouda & spinach stuffed pork chops

gouda & spinach stuffed pork chops

I’m doing some travelling over the next week and so eating will be an interesting task.  I’m mostly worried about this weekend and what to eat on the road the day before my half marathon.  I think for my pre-race breakfast my plan is just to have some Erewhon brown rice crisps and a small clementine, but I know that the entire day before I’ll need to be careful too.  Might just be eating some carefully selected salads!!  I did just make up another batch of granola, so I’ll have that on hand for snacking at least.  This round I followed the oats & amaranth granola recipe that I used before except instead of amaranth I used sesame seeds.  I also decided to experiment by adding some almond butter, yes I know I said that it may be giving me problems, but I just can’t live 100% without it and I figured having only about 4 tbsp throughout the whole granola shouldn’t bother me too much.  The reason I decided to add it was that I really want this granola to have some good chunks in it!  It has been successfully crunchy ever since adding the egg white, but it has been crumbly and therefore hard to snack on.  Good for cereal and on yogurt, but not so good for trying to just eat out of the bag 🙂  It is cooling now, so we’ll see if adding the almond butter was successful or not!

Cheat week

With the plan to fully implement the FODMAP diet coming up this weekend, I haven’t been quite as careful about what I’m eating and have intentionally eaten things that I knew wouldn’t be the best for me.  I know, not the greatest mindset and I really don’t recommend the “gorge yourself before diet” mentality, but it has been a busy week and my willpower was low.

So needless to say, I’ve been feeling pretty miserable this week, thanks to two pizza splurges and a few desserts.  I have at least found a few GF pizza crust recipes, so with some planning, I don’t need to give up pizza completely at least- especially since, amazingly, mozzarella is supposedly a-ok!  And same with desserts, if I take the time to make healthier ones, I can still indulge here and there.  I think the part I have found overwhelming this week is the lack of time to plan and prepare things.  Last week went decently because I had a sick day to get some cooking done!  This weekend and week has been chaotic and the piles of homework/reading are adding up, and so I’ve been eating terribly.

Sadly, though, even when I have tried my best to eat the right things, a few times it seems like it has backfired!  I made homemade oatmeal on Sunday with my homemade coconut milk, bananas, and bacon (weird, I know, but surprisingly tasty!).  All of that should be fine, in theory, and yet I felt really crappy afterwards and couldn’t eat lunch until after 1 because I just felt so terrible!  The only thing I can think of is maybe I have a sensitivity to bananas when they get too ripe.  I realized just recently that bananas are low FODMAP only when they aren’t super ripe.  Once they get pretty brown, the fructose level skyrockets, so assuming that fructose is one of my issues, this might explain my pain.  But oh what a terrible thing, I eat bananas all the time and they are a STAPLE for my smoothies- that’s the only way I can add all the crazy things that I do without needing any sort of sugar.  So I’m going to have to play around with this and see if bananas are actually an issue.

Another surprise issue was some buckwheat pancakes I made recently.  I made them a few weeks ago, before even considering this diet, but have heard good things about buckwheat, which despite its name, is wheat-free.  I had three of them for dinner and added some bacon (yeah I’ve been on kind of a bacon kick), topped with sunflower butter, bananas, and maple syrup.  I didn’t feel that great afterwards, but I thought it was because they were a lot more filling than I expected and three was too many.  So I had them again for breakfast a week or so later.  And didn’t feel that great afterwards, but again just thought maybe I ate too much or something.  I decided to give them a try again this morning, topping them with raspberries instead of bananas, and still it was an almost instantaneous feeling of miserable!!  So sadly, I think I’m intolerant to buckwheat.  What a bummer!  I hate wasting food, but I think I’m going to have to give the rest of them in the freezer the boot.  *sigh* Sometimes these adventures don’t turn out for the best, huh?

buckwheat pancakes

buckwheat pancakes w/ bacon

The Bad and the Good

The weekend started out not so great for my GI tract or for sticking with my diet.  Saturday I was plagued with stomach issues and I have no idea why!  I was good all day Friday as well as breakfast and lunch on Saturday, so I was very discouraged to have such problems even when I was doing a good job of sticking with my diet.  SO, since I was already miserable and we were going out for dinner, I splurged on pizza!!  And boy was it tasty 🙂 🙂  Amazingly, I did not feel sick immediately after eating and even today, while I wouldn’t say my stomach is fabulous, I actually feel better than I was feeling most of the day on Saturday.  It all seems a little strange to me because I have not seen much consistency in that on the days where I’m really good at sticking with my diet, I don’t consistently feel good.  And same with the days where I’m maybe not as good, I don’t necessarily feel worse than on the days where I’m “being good.”

After being “bad” for a night, I thought I’d be good and make up some baked goods that follow my diet.  So first  I decided to give the GF Bisquick that my mom gave me a try, along with the Ener-G Egg Replacer.  I made up biscuits and pancakes, which sadly used up my whole box.  Neither item got very brown like you’d be used to seeing, but they both tasted pretty good!  So after making those up I got them into the freezer for later consumption.  Here’s the recipes:

GF Bisquick Biscuits

2 cups Bisquick GF Mix

1/3 cup coconut butter

2/3 cup coconut milk

3 times 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 2 tbsp water

Heat over to 400 degrees.  Cut coconut butter into mix using a fork until particles are size of small peas.  Stir in remaining ingredients until soft dough forms.  Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 16-18 mins (never really got golden brown..).  Makes 10 biscuits.

GF Bisquick Pancakes

1 cup Bisquick GF Mix

1 cup coconut milk

2 tbsp veg oil

1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer plus 2 tbsp water

Stir ingredients until blended.  Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup onto hot greased griddle.  Cook until edges are dry.  Turn; cook until golden.  Makes 10 pancakes.

Next up, I made some GF Bread in the oven instead of in the bread machine.  I think this was pretty successful, though maybe a little sour tasting and a little short for sandwich bread.

Delicious GF Bread Recipe

2 cups brown rice flour

1 cup potato starch

2 tsp xanthum gum

1 1/4 tsp salt

2 1/4 tsp rapid dry yeast

1 1/4 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)

3 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp agave nectar

1/2 tsp rice vinegar (can also use is white wine cider vinegar or lemon juice)

1 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 4 tbsp warm water till frothy

Whisk dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients and mix with electric mixer using the paddle attachment for 2 minutes.  The bread dough will be more like cake batter than traditional bread dough.  For rising, create a proofing box in your microwave.  Microwave a small mug of water until it boils.  Leave the water in the microwave.  Pour the bread dough into one well-greased bread pan and then put in the microwave.  Allow to rise until batter extends a bit over the top of the pans (about 50 mins).  Bake at 400 degrees for 10 mins, then remove loaf and cover with aluminum foil.  Return to oven and bake for additional 40-45 mins.

The final thing that I made tonight were some energy bars, thanks to the idea from HyVee’s most recent “Seasons” magazine.  They gave several different things you could use to make them, so I used what I had on hand.

Homemade Energy Bars

2 cups quick oats

3/4 cup agave nectar

3/4 cup sunflower nut butter

1 cup ground flaxseed

1 cup vanilla hemp protein powder

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dates

Mix all ingredients together using an electric mixer or food processor.  Press evenly into a greased 8-inch square glass dish.  Refrigerate to firm bars.  Makes 16.