Dinner, Gluten Free Vegan, Lunch, Snacks

Gobi Manchurian “dry” (Indo-Chinese Crispy Cauliflower)

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This spicy Indo-Chinese cauliflower is addictingly good and can be eaten as an appetizer or served with rice and vegetables as a main course. It can be baked or pan fried.

I recently went to an Indian restaurant and tried gobi manchurian for the first time. My only regret is that I didn’t try this dish sooner! I’d seen it on Pinterest and thought it looked good…I generally like every Indian recipe I’ve ever had. On the other hand, I am not a big cauliflower fan. This may be surprising since cauliflower is so trendy these days, especially amongst vegan, gluten-free, and allergy friendly foodies, many of whom substitute it for meat, mashed potatoes, rice, and well pretty much anything! I’ll admit, it is a super versatile veggie and is pretty neutral in flavor, which can mean you can be as creative as you want when flavoring it up to make it taste like whatever you want. Also it cooks in no time which is a good thing.

This was an instant “omg I want more” as soon as I’m done recipe. Really, it should be called crack cauliflower lol. Needless to say, my mind has officially been changed in regards to cauliflower. I realized I should be more open minded about it, as well as any other vegetables I’m not too fond of. It’s all a matter in how you choose to spice/flavor your veggies, and this recipe is PACKED with flavor, my friends.

I’ve only made this once, and I’ll admit I accidentally made it way too spicy…I will definitely be putting in less chili sauce next time. Keep in mind a little chili sauce goes a long way haha!

Gobi Manchurian “Dry”(Crispy Cauliflower)

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free optional Recipe

Ingredients:
•1 medium cauliflower

{batter}
•3 tbsp starch of choice
•1 tbsp rice flour or gf all purpose flour
•1 tsp garam masala
•1/2 tsp kashmiri chili powder
•1/2 tsp curry powder
•1/4 tsp turmeric powder
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
•1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste (I made my own)
•1 tbsp liquid aminos or tamari
•1/4 cup purified/distilled water

{sauce}
•2 tbsp liquid aminos or tamari
•1/2 tsp- 1 tbsp chili sauce* (see note below)
•3 tbsp ketchup or tomato sauce
•2 cups onion, chopped
•1 tbsp garlic, minced
•1/2-1 green bell pepper, chopped
•1/4 cup scallions, chopped (optional)

*I would start with a small amount of chili sauce and work my way up until desired spiciness is achieved. Unless you’re a fire breather, then by all means go all out! You can even add some minced chilies!

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Separate the florets into bite size and rinse. Boil a pot of water with a pinch of salt and add cauliflower florets into the boiling water and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain the florets.

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients from the batter, making sure that the batter is thin. A thicker batter will end up in uncooked flour coating and ruin the dish. Add cauliflower to batter and stir to coat. If any excess batter remains, you can save it for later (be sure to refrigerate and don’t let it sit around for too long!)

Transfer the coated florets onto a bleach-free parchment lined baking sheet(s). Lightly spray cooking oil evenly over cauliflower. Make sure that the florets don’t touch each other and bake for 25-30 minutes by rotating the baking sheets and flipping the sides of the florets in between or till the florets are crispy.
Take a cast iron wok or sautée pan, add the green pepper and sautee for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic and cook for a couple minutes. Now add the sauce. Add the baked cauliflower florets. Mix well in the sauce and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Garnish with scallions if you’d like. Enjoy!

Breakfast, Gluten Free Vegan, Raw, Snacks, Spring/Summer

Ginger Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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Happy Thursday! I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the week…and REALLY can’t believe it’s the 8th for June already!!! I’ve been busy with a number of things, which I know makes the time seem to go by even faster but STILL.

Anyhoo, today I’m sharing a quick recipe for a smoothie that’s I recently realized I started to post a year ago…somehow it didn’t get posted so that’s finally being corrected. I’ve been in super organize mode and feel that before I post any new recipes, I should go back and revisit some old ones I’d been meaning to share with y’all.

This is a simple, yummy smoothie that will be sure to nourish you, as well as satisfy your tastebuds. These days Ive been trying to stick with adding veggies to my smoothies, but every now and then a gal just wants a milkshakey type of smoothie, ya know?! The kind that makes you feel a bit like you’re having dessert for breakfast! This is one of the those smoothtoes. Comforting, sweet, with a little bit of spice, it’s also good for you. Ginger has proven to help relive pain, even severe pain like arthritis and other types of chronic pain by curbing inflammation. Of course, strawberries are loaded with vitamin c, antioxadants, anthocyanins, and fiber – Just to name a few of those life giving nutrients 🍓🍌🌱🌞


Ginger Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Nut-Free Recipe

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

•1/2-1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
•2 small/1 large banana(s) (fresh or frozen)
•1/4-1/2 tsp ginger powder
•2 tbsp ground flaxseed, optional
•1-2 tbsp unrefined cold-pressed flaxseed oil, optional
•1 1/2 cups purified water/coconut water/vegan milk

Instructions:

Purée all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Best when enjoyed immediately 🙂

Breakfast, Dinner, Gluten Free Vegan, Grain Free, Lunch, Snacks

THE best Seasoned Roasted Chickpeas

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Two words perfectly describe this healthy snack- addictive + delicious!

These roasted lil chickpeas are full of yummy savory flavor! Basically they’re little bombs of flavor!!! Think nacho cheese Doritos in the form of garbanzo beans except BETTER! !!

Really, it’s a shame I’ve had this recipe up my sleeve for almost a year now before I thought/remembered to post it (guilty). My apologies, y’all. Once you try these super easy to make chickpeas you will be thankful I finally posted it. This is just one of those addictingly good, and good for you snacks you will want over and over again. I’ve had many, many roasted/crunchy chickpeas in my day and my recipe is by far the best one of them all, honest to goodness 😇, and I’ve had testers! They’re so good I almost always eat the entire batch in one sitting (not guilty). The tomato powder is the secret ingredient thats takes these Chickpeas over the top, although they’re delish without it.

Roasted chickpeas have been trending for some time now, and for good reason. They’re super good for you. I’m talking like, one of the healthiest foods in the world good for you! I recently read somewhere about a long term study conducted over 10 years or more that documented the worlds healthiest people, their lifestyles, including and especially what they ate. Chickpeas were a mainstay in many of the cultures studied (it was b/w 5-10 overall, I believe).

Chickpeas aka garbanzo beans are known for being a high satiety, energy giving food that’s full of fiber and protein. Two cups of chickpeas equals your entire daily requirement for fiber, which promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol (the bad kind). “65-75% of the fiber found in garbanzo beans is insoluble fiber, and this type of fiber remains undigested all the way down to the final segment of your large intestine” – The Worlds Healthiest Foods. In addition, they have other properties which may help digestive troubles. This makes chickpeas a good option for people like myself with gastroperesis and other digestive issues. (If you have GP, I’d advise you not to eat too much, since chickpeas are a bit higher in carbs than other beans, and personally I’ve found too many carbs flare up my GP & POTS)

If you haven’t had nutritional yeast yet, well, better late than never 🙂
Nutritional yeast, despite it’s name is not actually yeast. Therefore it is ACD diet/anti candida friendly. It has a slightly nutty, slightly tangy cheesy flavor that goes with oh so many things. Pretty much anywhere you’d find cheese in a recipe, you could sub it with nutritional yeast. It should be a staple in every vegans pantry, and for most it is.

Here are some more facts about the health benefits of nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast happens to be a complete protein and contains 18 essential amino acids. It’s high in B vitamins, including thiamine, folate, B-6 and niacin. Just 1/2 a tbsp of some brands will provide you with a day’s worth of B vitamins, while other brands offer between 30 and 100 percent of the B vitamins. – Live Strong. Who says you can’t get B’s from plant Based foods?!?! B’s increase energy and help your body in producing RBC’s, or should I say red blood cells for all my non spoonie readers. It packs a pretty decent dose of iron, selenium and zinc too.

So are those enough reasons to fall head over heels in love with my roasted chickpea recipe, or what 💁


THE Best Seasoned Cheezy Roasted Chickpeas

Vegan, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Sugar-free, Nut-free, Soy-free

Yield: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

•15-16oz (~2 cups) chickpeas, cooked or canned (bpa-free)
•1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•2 heaping tbsp nutritional yeast
•1-1 1/2 tsp paprika
•1-1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp tomato powder, optional
•1/2-1 tsp onion powder
•1/4-1/2 tsp chili powder
•1 tsp salt, or to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lay out your drained chickpeas to dry on a kitchen towel for at least an hour (I usually let mine sit for 2-3 hours). Once chickpeas have dried a bit, but not totally dry, they’re ready.
In a small-medium bowl mix together all your ingredients (except for salt) starting with the oil, and finishing with the chickpeas. Stir and toss to coat.
Lay out chickpeas in an even later on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 26 minutes.

Salt your chickpeas, toss, and allow to cool fa bit (this is the hard part!). Enjoy!

Note- store these in an air tight cobtainer in the fridge. To enjoy again reheat for 5 minutes  at 350 degrees. If you prefer extra crunch you Chickpeas bake them @ 375 F for a slightly less time.

Cookies, Grain Free, Raw, Snacks

Grain-free Cookie Dough for One and a little on my battle with chronic illness

I’m so sorry to admit that I’ve seriously neglected this lovely lil blog of mine…but for a good reason. Let me explain.

Last year in June I was diagnosed with chronic late stage neurological lyme disease. At that time I’d been suffering for years with persistent symptoms since age 4. It started with childhood asthma, allergies, headaches, migraines with nausea and auras, IBS, and chronic fatigue. Later it progressed to severe brain fog, (like forgetting which side of the faucet is hot or cold, and finding myself in a room and not realizing how i got there…), stuttering, disorientation, hallucinations,, panic, rage, mood swings/irritability and general delirium, along with physically disabling symptoms like severe body wide musculskeletal pain, seizures, vasovagal attacks, tachycardia, arrhythmia, dizzy spells, fainting, loss of balance, severe chronic nausea, bouts of vomiting, shortness of breath, chest pain, profuse sweating, shaking chills, swollen painful lymph nodes, irregular body temperature regulation, trouble with vision and hearing, twitches, fasciculations, tremors, low grade fevers, constant exhaustion that feels as if the air around me is a constant weight of 1,000 bricks pushing down against my body, I could go on and on with my close to 200 symptoms. In recent years I’ve developed/been diagnosed with a chronic form of leukopenia (abnormally low white blood cell count) which makes it difficult for my body to fight off infections, bacteria and other harmful stuff…POTS (a severe condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue fatigue syndrome, adenomyosis (type of endometreosis), multiple chemical sensitivity, multiple food allergies, ovarian cysts, numerous infections such as chronic UTI’s, liver and kidney infections, low natural killer cells and more. I’m now intolerant of heat, alcohol, makeup, lotions, shampoos, etc. and hypersensitive to light, sounds and especially smells (MCS). Anything and everything seems to send me into a flare-up these days. I should really just live in a bubble lol. I also lost 25 lbs rapidly and despite pushing myself to eat through the pain I dropped down to about 85 lbs at my sickest (I’m 5’5″, so no bueno). Being so underweight created a whole slew of other serious health problems as well.

It took literally millions of dollars on different specialists and extensive testing, and decades went by before I got the correct diagnoses, the ones that explained it all and connected the dots (dots being symptoms and also disorders/syndromes/conditions). I thought that was it when I was diagnosed with late-stage chronic neurological lyme, as well as HH6 virus, and an acute form of chronic pneumonia. I really had no clue what I was in for and that there was more to it than lyme. When my LLMD told me I’d have a long, tough road ahead of me, I had no idea just how true that was.

6+ months of loads of antibiotics and a PICC line, and I had gotten so sick that most days I was completely bedbound. I could barely walk or talk, I would lay in bed in agonizing pain, none of the prescription pain meds would be of relief, and my herbal meds were just not enough. At times I was so weak I needed to be fed. I was losing the little bit of myself was left, including my hope. In November I took a break from antibiotics since it was destroying my digestive system and did 5 months of low level laser therapy and detoxing, which helped some symptoms but others are now worse. I was getting so bad that I couldn’t get any sleep for weeks and I ended up in the ER with a mass in my large intestines.

I was so weak and riddled with pain, but then the universe intervened and my Dr. suggested a mold test for our house. Turns out we were living in a house which in my dr.s words were “unliveable conditions” due to extremely high infestations of toxic mold, including black mold (all the mold was invisible.) Once the mold toxins (mycotoxins) colonize in the body it becomes a multisystemic neuroimmune disease and never ending war. For the unlucky people like me who don’t have the necessary antibodies in their immune systems to fight off the mycotoxins, even a brief exposure to indoor mold can lead to mycotoxicosis which is full blown systemic disease, where the mycotoxins invade and attack every single living cell and organ in the mold exposed victim. Mycotoxicosis is fatal if left untreated, or if the treatment period begins too late and the mycotoxins have already destroyed organs, or crated cancerous tumors. We now know I have been battling this dreadful disease for years. My mycotoxin test came back positive even after 4 1/2 months of moving from the moldy house. I was told this means the levels of mycotoxins in my body were really high since people with mold illness generally have to “provoke” the mycotoxins to be released from fat cells in the body. This is often done with sauna and heat detoxing, and since I’ve been so sick I sweat almost constantly which sucks but it’s a natural detox. Unfortunately I will always get very sick from mold, but with A LOT of intensive treatment, detoxing and time I should get better, and many of my mycotoxicosis symptoms should go away.

Long term exposure to toxic mold damages the brain and leaves behind permanent complications after even after years of treatment. Unfortunately, I lived in the “moldy house” for over 5 years, and we suspect most of the previous houses I lived in had mold due to my progressive mycotoxicosis symptoms throughout my life. My fibromyalgia is from the mold exposure I’ve been told, and a lot of people with fibro actually have mycotoxicosis. My father bravely battled many forms of cancer before he finally died from brain cancer. I believe his death could’ve been mold related, since mycotoxicosis commonly leads to brain lesions and tumors, as well as cancer (the most common mycotoxins are aflatoxins; highly carcinogenic toxins, and trichothecenes; dangerous neurotoxins which are the most fatal of all the mycotoxins)

It’s estimated that 500,000 people in the U.S. die every year from mycotoxicosis, and it’s likely to be many more since it goes so undiagnosed. Many dr.’s don’t know to test for mycotoxins, and may even go as far as to say mold can’t make you sick! The fact is mold can make people very ill and myctoxicosis takes lives with organ failure, cancer, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), anaphylaxis, and more. I thank God and the Universe because I honestly don’t know if I’d be alive today if I’d stayed in that house the way my body was going, my organs were set to fail. As of now there is no telling the extent of the damage to my brain, I have to wait to get brain scan and lots of other tests. I still have progressing and emerging symptoms, and have been wheelchair bound for the past month. I had to get a port implanted in my chest for my regular IV infusions. There is no cure for mycotoxicosis, and I know I have a long, long way to go and it will only get harder from the toxin die-off as they slowly up the dosages of my meds and infusions, but I am determined to win this.  Now that I finally found the missing piece of my chronic illness puzzle, I have nothing but gratitude and a new sense of hope. My fiancé who lived with me for about a year also got very sick from the mold but not to my degree, fortunately. It’s so very hard to watch him suffer in some of the ways I do. After months of research we have found an environmental illness treatment center out of state which has a high success rate for mycotoxicosis. If all goes according to plan, we should be leaving in june to stay for a month for intensive treatment.

I will be honest, so many times I lose hope, but I know that there is a reason for me to go through this and giving up is just not an option. Being chronically ill is tough, but I am tougher! ❤

What Is Mold Illness? (Mycotoxicosis)

Mold Illness: “Mold Illness is not an allergy. It is an inflammation within the body which is caused by an immune system that has gone haywire. The term “mold illness” is a subcategory of biotoxin illness called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). Some individuals have a genetic susceptibility to develop mold illness based on their immune response genes (HLA–DR). The genetics are clear: occurrence of specific HLA types are found in about 25% of the population.”


Mycotoxicosis Symptoms

Lyme Disease

Lyme has surpassed AIDS as the fastest growing infectious disease in the U.S. right now. Lyme is relatively easy to treat if caught very early, however once it’s progressed to it’s late stages becomes chronic, debilitating and difficult to treat.
“It is caused by a type of bacterium called a spirochete. An infected tick can transmit the spirochetes to the humans and animals it bites. There is some debate to whether other bugs can transmit it, or if it is sexually transmitted. It is however transmitted in utero. It is a multi systemic inflammatory infection. If left untreated it will travel from your skin, through the bloodstream, joints, organs, and will establish itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms including neuropsychiatric manifestations.”

Lyme Disease Symptoms

Meanwhile, until I leave for treatment I have a healthy, easy and thoroughly enjoyable treat like cookie dough to turn to keep my spirits up 😉

Vegan Cookie Dough


Grain Free Cookie Dough

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Soy-Free

{adapted from The Live In Kitchen}

yield: 1 serving | prep time: 5 mins | total time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

6 tbsp almond meal/flour
2 tbsp virgin unrefined coconut oil, melted or softened 
2 tbsp coconut nectar, or maple syrup
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
dash of salt, to taste
vegan chocolate chips or carob chips, to taste

Instructions:

In a small bowl mix together coconut oil, sweetener, and vanilla.
Add flour and salt until well combined, folding in chips last.
Chill for best results…or scarf down immediately. Enjoy!