Monday, January 12, 2009

Potato & Broccoli "Cheese" Soup

Early TED

I ate SO horribly last week. Abigail had the flu so I exclusively took care of Noah while Hubby took care of her. We were concerned about a 4 month old vomiting and getting as sick as Abbie did. So that was a rough 5 days & nights as I usually split the nights with Hubby since Noah doesn't sleep good. Then on Saturday...Hubby gets sick! So needless to say...not much got done last week, no extra cooking like usual, and I'm still recuperating from the other two folks in my home being sick and hoping I don't get it myself.

Back to the food. I ate really bad last week because it was just a rough week and I had no time to make all my "special" food for me. I've learned that on the TED I need to eat a little bit of all of my foods to feel somewhat healthy. If I start to leave foods out or just eat whatever is easiest, my stamina and clarity of mind just disintegrate. I thought a soup would be a good way to combine a bunch of veggies and kick up my nutrients. This one sure did the trick, and it was delicious and almost "cheesy" to boot! Abigail ate all of hers, with much prompting as she's not a soup person, but she never said she didn't like it! Score one for Mom!

8 small to medium carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
14 small red potatoes, large dice
1 large onion, chopped
2 heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
1 Tbsp. olive oil, + 1 Tbsp. for later
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. Dari-free potato milk
6 cups of water
1 cup rice milk

In a large stockpot, add in 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and your onions. Cook over low heat until the onions take on some color. Add in the carrots and then the potatoes. Add in the water and cook until the potatoes and carrots are almost done.

Place 2-3 ladles of veggies in a blender, 2 ladles of cooking liquid, add the rice milk and blend on very low speed. Contents will be VERY hot, so be careful! If putting a lid on your blender, be sure and vent it so steam can escape. Meanwhile, place broccoli in the pot to cook.

Gradually increase speed the speed of the blender until contents are well blended. Add in reserved 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and 2 Tbsp. of milk powder. The Dari-Free thickens the soup and gives it a velvety texture. The carrots turn the puree a pale golden color. Return contents of blender to soup pot, and cook until the broccoli is just done. Turn heat down to medium and stir frequently, as it will stick on the bottom of the pot. Remove from heat and adjust seasonings as needed. The milk powder adds a sweetens that might need to be further counteracted with additional salt and onion/garlic powder. I liked a bit of the sweetness in my soup.

It truly does have a cheesy look to the soup, and if your imagination is broad a creamy cheese taste as well!

This photo got uploaded on accident...but it's so cute I'll leave it here! The reason I continue with this so very difficult diet...this little guy's happiness! Now if only he was like this all day and all night long....We still have so many very, very rough days.

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Food Journey

Noah's inability to digest through my breastmilk the foods I was eating prompted me to begin a Total Elimination Diet (TED). This was not an easy decision to make, as I knew that once begun it would likely be months and months before I had a normal diet again. But after several days of my poor 4 week old son screaming and passing extremely painful gas, I just didn't know what else to do. So, I began the journey on October 7, 2008.

The TED only allows several foods for the first two weeks to allow your system and your baby's system to clear out. Then you add a new food in ONE at a time and try it for four days. If there is no reaction, the baby has "passed" that food and you can begin a new food trial. These foods can be found at:
Another good site is the Joneja Allergen Scale at:
This lists the majority of foods from highest to lowest allergen factor.

white or sweet potato
range fed turkey or lamb
cooked yellow or green squash
pear or pear juice
sea salt
olive oil

Well, give a vegetarian the above list and that is pretty scary! I seriously tried several times to eat turkey and just couldn't do it. Being raised vegetarian and thinking of meat as a dead animal is hard to reverse.

So I began the diet but also added in quinoa, a grain that is a complete protein and also the lowest on the allergen scale. I began on a Tuesday, and on Thursday morning I woke up with a red speckled rash all over my face, neck and chest. And I was itchy! I scratched, although I shouldn't have, and soon had raised welts all over my face. Since the quinoa wasn't on the original list, I assumed that must be the culprit. So I stopped eating it. Friday morning I woke up with more of a rash extending to my shoulders, down my back and chest, ears and also hundreds of little white pimples on my jawline, chin, eyelids and around my mouth. It was freaky! So that day I only ate potatoes and pears. That was a hard day, just felt icky and weak.

The next day I added in some zucchini with lunch, and noticed I was itchy again that afternoon. I had zucchini again for lunch the next day, and within an hour I had a rash and was itchy.

So, 6 days on the TED and I couldn't eat the meat, or the zucchini. I was down to potatoes, sweet potato, millet, rice, quinoa and pear. I kept at it until about a week later when Noah was still fussy, gassy and upset. I talked with Dr. Leeper from MilkWorks who advised me that some babies can't handle rice! What?! Don't take away rice! But sure enough, I cut out the rice and Noah immediately improved. In exchange over the next few weeks, I added in baked beans (I know! I couldn't resisit one day as I put them away from Jer and Abbie's meal, and somehow they worked.) lentils, avocados, peaches, and then bananas. Eight - 12 days later I took a leap and added in carrots, onion and celery at the same time. Thank goodness those all passed! Then I could make a "stir-fry" or a potato soup. Then sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds. Again over the next weeks I added in mushrooms, garlic powder and tried different gluten free flours. No flours would work, which was discouraging.

My theory was to look at the scale and assume that I should safely be able to eat everything from the middle down. I tried to never add in more than one food at a time since if Noah did react I wouldn't know what he was reacting to! I also tried to really think about what would affect my quality of eating....what could I actually make SOMEthing out of, like a dish.

By Thanksgiving, I was also eating broccoli and green beans, which Noah then promptly failed. He still hasn't been able to tolerate green beans, but we are good with broccoli. It's been such a hard thing, and I have been sick many, many days because my nutrition was so inadequate. I have discovered that I feel the best when I try to eat a little bit of most of my available foods every day. So, the journey continues. It's hard and I wish I could stop almost every day, but honestly where do you go from here? We've tried several formulas to no avail and what else can I do? Before I successfully added in rice and broccoli I was getting pretty sick. Headaches, nauseated, weak, and probably TMI for most people, but was having 10-12 loose BM's a day. Defnitely not the sign of a healthy body. I had stopped my multi-vitamin because I was afraid he would react to it, and still haven't added it back in. Or calcium! I need to make those a priority........

And it's frustrating beyond belief. Abbie never nursed well and it was painful for 9 months. I had every nursing problem you could imagine with her. So I didn't really enjoy nursing, I just did it because it was best and we couldn't afford the horribly expense dairy/soy free formulas. Noah is an awesome nurser. Fast, efficient, great latch and no pain. However, I don't really get to enjoy this nursing experience either because of this horrible restrictive diet. It's really been hard, to say the least.

Foods Noah has failed:
green beans
sorghum flour
chickpeas/garbonzo beans
rice burger from Akins
rice - but I was able to add it in about 5 weeks ago, after 10 weeks without!

Foods Noah can eat:
white potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, onion, celery, broccoli, avocado, pear, peach, banana, blueberries, ketchup :-), mustard, lettuce, pickles, cucumber, rice, millet, quinoa, sugar (but not too much or he'll get really spitty) brown sugar, honey, sunflower seeds

As I can add in new foods I'll post a new update. I am desperate for a bread. We've made several GF breads and the texture and taste is just so off I don't enjoy them.

I keep praying that God will heal Noah, and enable him to eat more foods (and me too!). I just want my baby boy to be happy all the time, and not have to go through what must be some pretty awful pain. Horribly gas, green, slimy, mucousy, stringy sour smelling poops, will NOT sleep at night unless he is in our arms and often with the pacifier firmly implanted in his mouth. He has NEVER slept all night in his crib, EVER. Which means my hubby and I haven't slept good for 19 weeks either! And for me, I haven't slept good since May of 2008 when I was uncomfortable at night with my pregnancy and frequently got up to use the bathroom. Add this on top of my peripartum cardiomyopathy that I developed at 28 weeks pregnant and my body is exhausted, worn out and nutritionally depleted; still attempting to recover from the pregnancy, c-section and stress that my heart went through.

Noah is such a little trooper though, still smiling and laughing and happy most of the time when my foods aren't bothering him. It's been so hard, but such a blessing to have this child in our lives. I love you little Noah Noah!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gingersnap Cookies

Early TED

Thanks for this yummy recipe Steph, I can't wait to try them!

3/4 cup Crisco or other MSPI safe margarine
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg replacer equivalent
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaping teaspoon ginger

Cream Crisco and sugar, add egg and molasses and beat well. Add dry ingredients. Form into small balls (walnut sized) and roll in white sugar. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 4-12 minutes. Watch closely the first time you bake them, 8 minutes is about average.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen

Potato Vegetable Meat Gratin

Early TED

Thanks for this one Jill!

3 cups rice milk
2 Tbsp. MSPI safe margarine
2 lbs. small red potatoes, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or equivalent pre-minced garlic
2 bay leaves
4 - 6 oz. green beans, or other vegetable of choice, fresh or frozen
2 cooked chicken or turkey breasts, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine milk, potatoes, garlic, and bay leaves in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Drain potatoes in a colander over a bowl reserving 1 cup milk mixture. Discard bay leaves. Cook green beans in boiling water for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Rinse in cold water, drain. Arrange half of potatoes in bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange green beans and chicken/turkey over potatoes. Dot with pieces of margarine, sprinkle with some of the salt and pepper. Top with remaining potatoes. Dot with remaining margarine, salt and pepper. Stir nutmeg into reserved milk mixture; pour over potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil; cut 3, (1") slits in foil. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until top begins to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Can make vegetarian by using lentils or beans in place of the meat.

Gluten Free and Rice Free Pancakes

Basic TED

Another one from Kim when I wasn't able to eat rice. Thank you!

1 1/2 cups millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp sugar
4 Tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup oil
4 1/2 Tbsp water
4 1/2 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup applesauce, OR 1 mashed banana (optional)

Mix together the 4 1/2 tbsp water, 4 1/2 tbsp oil, and 1 tbsp baking powder and set aside - this is the egg replacement.

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients including egg replacement.

Pour 1/3 or 1/4 cup portions on a hot pan and cook on both sides.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

Broad TED

Thanks for this recipe Kim!

1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup dairy-free milk substitute
2 cups (1 can) pumpkin
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
9-inch pre-baked or graham cracker pie crust

Put gelatin and water in a sauce pan over low heat to dissolve. Add remaining ingredients, mix well, and pour into a 9-inch pre-baked or graham cracker pie crust. Refrigerate for a few hours before slicing and serving.

GF Onion Rings

Early TED

This was a suggestion of my sister who has been helping me think up new foods to eat while on the total elimination diet. Having variety has helped me make it on this limited diet.

1/4 cup gluten free flours (I used equal parts millet, quinoa, potato and tapioca)
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/8 - 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup potato or rice milk (or any milk of your choice)
Enough oil to cover skillet by 1/2 an inch

Slice onion into 1/4 inch rounds, separate into rings and allow to soak briefly in milk. Combine flours, baking powder and salt in another bowl. Dredge onion rings in the flour mixture, and then drop into the hot oil. Allow to fry until golden brown, then drain on paper towels. I even doubled dipped a few towards the end and they were even thicker and puffier. Yum!

My rings turned out beautifully; crispy and nicely coated in the flours. They were delicious! I gobbled up 3/4 of the onion without even thinking twice. Next time I might slow down enough to dip in ketchup :-)

TED Rice Crispies

Basic TED

1 cup sunbutter
1 cup organic cane juice
1 cup rice syrup
pinch of sea salt

Cook together until syrupy and smooth, and pour over 6 cups of crispy brown rice cereal (be sure to get one free of corn syrup). Pack into a pan and cool into the fridge. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Sweet Rice

Basic TED

Cook brown rice and then add in pear juice, brown rice syrup or sugar with a pinch of sea salt.

Can use white rice, but brown rice is ALWAYS nutritionally superior!

Pear Pop

Basic TED

Mix pear juice and sparkling water together for a fizzy pear drink.

Mashed Potato and Turkey Wrap

Basic TED

Wrap 2 Tbsp. of seasoned mashed potatoes in a hormel natural turkey lunch meat slice. Heat and eat!

TED Turkey and Potato Hash

Basic TED

Brown ground turkey and cook hashbrowns in a separate skillet. (Can also use potatoes that have been cooked and cooled, then fried.) Mix together and season with salt and pepper.

TED Turkey & Rice Hash

Basic TED

Brown ground turkey, season with salt and pepper. Cook brown rice, and mix together, adjusting seasonings as desired.

Can use white rice, but brown is ALWAYS superior nutritionally. On the TED, every little bit counts!

Vegetarian option: use lentils or beans instead of the meat.

Baked Squash

Basic TED

Use butternut, acorn, etc. squash. Cut in half and scoop out the pulp and seeds. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes or until soft. Season as desired with sea salt, olive oil and pepper, or with sugar or brown rice syrup.

Roasted Vegetables

Basic TED

Yum, one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables.

Slice vegetables of your choice into large chunks. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on an aluminum foil covered pan and roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until vegetables are caramelized on the edges.

Best roasting vegetables:
sweet potato
zucchini & yellow squash

Rice Chex "Puppy Chow" Mix

Early TED

9 cups rice chex mix
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (if very gluten sensitive, use GF variety)
1/2 - 1 cup sunbutter or peanut butter
1/4 cup MSPI safe margarine
1 cup chocolate chips, if desired

Melt the last 3 ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl until smooth. Mix in the 9 cups of rice Chex cereal. Place all into a large bag and add the powdered sugar. Shake and mix until well coated. If desired, spread on wax paper to cool.

For basic TED, leave out the chocolate.

No Bake Cookies

Early TED

3 Tbsp. unsweetened dairy-free cocoa powder
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup rice or almond milk
1/4 - 1/2 cup MSPI safe margarine (Fleishman's unsalted light, Smart Balance light)
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter or sunbutter
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients until well mixed and roll into balls. Refrigerate if desired to firm, eat and enjoy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lettuce Veggie Wrap

Early TED

Oh how I miss bread; tortilla shells, hamburger buns, toast, sandwiches, biscuits. Have you ever noticed how fragrant the smell of warm or toasted bread is? Wow! My hubby was making lunch for him and our daughter and the tortilla shell warming in the skillet was so aromatic my mouth was watering. As I contemplated what I could possibly make for lunch that would even be just remotely satisfying, I remembered that I had purchased a head of iceburg lettuce to make a wrap style bread free sandwich.

I filled my wrap with a rice carrot sunshine burger that I had in the freezer, avocado, grape tomatoes, cucumber, pickle, mustard, ketchup and some Annie's Green Garlic MSPI safe dressing with some crinkle cut TED safe potato chips on the side. It was surprisingly easy to roll into a manageable wrap and oh so delicious to eat. Crunchy and filling and so flavorful. Feeling satisfied and content after a meal on the TED doesn't always happen, so this was a fully enjoyable eating experience! This is something I look forward to having again and again. For my carnivore friends, this would be awesome with either a ground meat or turkey or chicken slices. It's really that big piece of lettuce that is the star!

Oh a side note, hubby had purchased some Vanilla Rice Dream for me yesterday. I thought a vanilla peach shake sounded good for a sweet ending to my meal. Just for the record, a frozen banana and can of lite peaches with juice makes for a shake that is TEN times better and creamier than the rice dream and peaches! And the frozen banana makes for a thicker shake as well. Not to mention being lower in calories and sugar and much cheaper! I always am glad to find easier, less expensive ways to make my food more enjoyable :-)