Monday, October 17, 2011

Yummy yum yam

O. M. Goodness. This is my new favorite quick and easy meal/side-dish.

Throw together some cubed sweet potatoes, canned corn, canned black beans, diced red bell pepper, onion, olive oil, cilantro, cumin and coriander in a skillet and cook on medium high heat. Stir often. Dish is done when potatoes are golden brown.

Or cheat with Alexia brand 'Saute Sweet' from the freezer section.

All natural, gluten free, easy.
Win. Win. Win.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Prudence Broke

The recession has resulted in serious financial fallout for many. No news there.

Other sources of involuntary fat trimming are divorce and medical illness. All of which are difficult situations to endure in and of themselves. Add in the inability to eat or provide food for little mouths and the stress becomes unbearable, which , then leads to poor (or even worse) eating habits, which is known to cause medical illness, poor stress management and depression, likely exacerbating the situation and initiating the downward spiral toward poverty.

While your average Food Prude is capable of cutting back a little and still maintaining a mostly healthy diet when money is tight, destitute celiacs face more of a challenge.

For example, a struggling single parent with celiac children is not able to utilize the special school lunch program, which offers children a balanced lunch for cents on the dollar, because these programs do not offer gluten free foods.

Nor is it possible for low income celiacs to simply choose generic foods, or sale items in all categories.

Many of you already know these details, but for the sake of the many non celiacs reading this post, let's point out a few of the extrordinary expenses associated with the gluten free diet.

1. Bread: Gluten Free, $6.49 makes 4 sandwiches. A 'regular' loaf costing, on average $3.50 and yielding roughly 11 sandwiches.

2. Pretzels: Gluten Free, $6.99 14.1 oz. bag. Glutinous pretzels, $3.29 for 16 oz bag.

3. Pancake Mix: Gluten Free, $5.69 on average with 10 servings. Bisquick mix $2.75, 28 servings.

So what's a destitute celiac to do? Compromise nutrition seems to be the only solution, hence the broken prudence. While fruits and vegetables are always a good source of naturally gluten free food, it is not enough to round out a diet and supplement those that cannot use knives or cook regularly (the wide and ever growing population of short celiacs)

I am opening up this blog to public comments and asking for tips and suggestions for gluten free diets on the cheap.

Follow along as I divulge the details of our families compromise through tough times.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Grilled Mahi Mahi

I like to try to have some variety of fish at least once a week. Up this week is Mahi Mahi, one of the less fishy tasting varieties. A quick stop at led me to this great recipe that I tweaked a bit.

  • 5 pounds skinned, deboned mahi mahi, cut into chunks
  •  1 tsp rehydrated dried garlic chips
  • 1/2 cup butter, diced
  • 2 T dried minced onion
  • 4 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Moscato (white wine)
  • 1 1/2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (rotel)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces shredded pepperjack cheese
  1. Preheat grill for high heat.
  2. Place mahi mahi in an aluminum foil pan, and toss with the garlic to coat. Distribute butter evenly throughout pan. Spread onions over fish. Pour the lemon juice, wine, and diced tomatoes with green chile peppers over the fish. Season with salt and pepper. Tightly cover pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Place pan on the grill grate, and cook fish 35 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.
Serve with whole grain rice and green vegetables.  Leftovers make for great lunches!!For the original recipe, visit

Mahi Mahi passes the food prude's standards:

Nutritional Facts

  • A cooked, three-ounce piece of Mahi Mahi contains 119 calories, 25.5 grams of protein, zero grams of carbohydrates, one gram of total fat and zero grams of fiber, according to
  • Sources of Nutrients

  • Mahi Mahi is an Excellent course of Selenium (40mcg), Niacin (10mg) and Vitamin B6 (0.88mg), meaning that one cooked, three-ounce piece of Mahi Mahi provides 20 percent or more of the Recommended Daily Value of those nutrients, based on guidelines set by the United States Department of Agriculture, according to The same sized serving of Mahi Mahi is also a good source of potassium (484mg), meaning it provides between 10 and 20 percent of the USDA Recommended Daily Value.

  • Friday, December 31, 2010

    Don't Do It

    It's New Year's Eve and everyone is ready with their champagne and lists of things they want to change, accomplish or work toward next year. It's exciting thinking about all the great things that the new year will bring. It's a fresh start. Another chance to make things great instead of so-so.

    Let's talk about your list. Is it a detailed outline of specific goals, i.e. 'loose 20 lbs.', 'get a promotion', 'pay off your credit card'? Or is it more vague and open ended, like 'spend more time with the kids', 'eat healthier', 'do some soul searching'?  Either way you're setting yourself up for failure, and you know it.

    I don't want to take the wind out of your sails, but don't do it. I'm not being pessimistic, we all know I am a Freakin' Eureakan by nature. But the fact is, most people are not actually able to accomplish the resolutions they undertake, putting themselves into a 'victim of circumstance' position, which is nothing less than depressing.

    So I'm telling you to stop making lists of things to change. That's going to be your 'newness' for each year. That's what you are going to do for 2011. You are going to NOT make a list of things to change about yourself, your life, your situation.

    Instead, make this commitment: Live in a way that doesn't make you want to change a thing. Complex, I know. But try it. For 2011 live in a way that won't make you want to change something for 2012. Still worried about that 20 lbs.? Live in a way that doesn't make that an issue for 2012. Change the way you LIVE and all those things fall into place.

    If you were to consciously make the choice to love the way you live everyday - every hour - you would be content. Contentment leads to joy. Joy eases the discomfort of discipline which, in turn, leads to an instinctive ability to make good decisions that nourish the joy.

    Stop being a victim of circumstance and choose to change. You say you want to lose 20 lbs? Choose salmon instead of a burger every now and then. It won't kill you - it's just a choice. You want to spend more time with the kids? Turn off the TV. The computer. The phone. Play tag, ride bikes, dance. Want to pay off the credit card? Take it out of your wallet. Make the choice to take control of the situation. Want to eat healthier? Don't buy junk. It's a decision you make every time you go to the store. Not just on New Year's.

    After changing the way you choose to live, there's a good chance you'll actually accomplish all those unresolved goals. Playing with the kids more and paring down the grocery bill by cutting out the junk will make you loose 20 lbs. AND charge less on the credit card. Who knows, enjoying life might even land you that promotion. Happy employees are more productive after all......


    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    The Food Frenzy: Part 2 Survival

    Going to a party, holiday or otherwise, that is not providing 'safe' foods for a food sensitive person is challenging, but do-able. Navigating the holidays with food allergies requires only forethought for survival.

    Prior to the event, ask the host(ess) what will be served and what time eating is to commence. Many events start with food which allows you to eat beforehand and be purposely late to avoid watching everyone else eat. 

    Based on the menu, decide if you want to bring your own foods or eat before you go. Offer to bring something to share so you know you'll be able to eat at least one thing at the event. If you opt not to create a complete separate meal for yourself to eat, bring handy inconspicuous snacks like nuts, that can be consumed while mingling instead of sitting at a dinner table.

    Food issues or not, it's always a good idea to eat something healthy and high in protein at home before joining a food laden party. Having a full stomach will lead you to eat less of the junky fattening indulgences typically served at holiday gatherings.

    Once you've planned accordingly, you will be able to relax and enjoy the season.

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    The Food Frenzy: Part 1 Safety

    I'll be honest, I have ALWAYS loved the holidays. The weather, the family time, the shopping, and of course the food. However, when celiac disease became a part of my life, I began to dread it all. It became a nightmare. All that food became a risk and the daunting task of trying to make a replica of everything in a gluten free version was overwhelming and exhausting.

    Even the shopping was no longer enjoyable because it meant frantically running to several different stores trying to piece together enough gluten free items to make a mock [insert occasion here] meal. This frustration fed the dread.

    But each year things have gotten a little easier. Each year I've learned new ways to stay safe and tricks to make food replication easier and quicker.

    When I started this post I set out to share my Thanksgiving recipes tempted to skip the details on the safety concerns, because they are stressful. But it's important for all gluten sensitive people to know what to be aware of during the food frenzy. The following principles can be applied to all food sensitivities, and all food centered events.

    1. If someone offers to make you something gluten free, make sure they are not using any colanders or wooden cutting boards that have previously been used with wheat. These two surfaces retain gluten residue and will contaminate even the best of intentions.

    2.  As annoying as it is, you have to request that any utensils, cookware or serving ware to be used during the making and serving of the gluten free dish(es) are first washed (even if they were already 'clean'), with a brand new sponge that has not been exposed to wheat. A sponge is another porous surface that will spread gluten to seemingly clean dishes.

    3. This brand new sponge, or a freshly laundered dish rag, should also be used to wipe down preparation and eating surfaces.

    4. Double check the ingredients to be used. I know this seems tedious, especially if the generous person seems to have a handle on what gluten free means. Take for example, rice krispies treats. It is a common fallacy that this convenient little treat is gluten free if it's homemade, it is made with RICE krispies after all. However, Rice Krispies cereal (Kellog's brand) contains MALT FLAVORING, which is typically made from barley, which is GLUTEN.

    5. Should this be a large gathering, remind the host beforehand that it is very important that the serving utensils not be interchanged between safe and unsafe foods by guests. The safe foods may be marked for clarification or placed in a separate location to reduce this risk. 

    6. If the foods are setup buffet style, or even family style, ask your host to clarify which foods are gluten free (or have them marked ahead of time so you don't have to bother him/her during festivities).
    It seems tactless to ask all of this of your host and I typically decline even the most generous offers because the effort that gluten free prep in an otherwise glutinous home demands seems just as faux pas. However some golden heart-ed people are relentlessly willing to jump through every possible hoop to prepare food that you can enjoy freely. Those people, my friends, are Angels; cherish them and reciprocate their great and diligent effort, for serving an Angel is blessing.

    For tips and trick on joining a party where gluten free food is NOT being served, check out The Food Frenzy: Part 2.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Taco Well

    Tonight, I planned on making tacos, and coincidentally so did Stephanie Barone of Mommy Doesn't Cook On Friday. Now, call me sheltered, but I had never heard of wrapping a hard taco with a soft tortilla, but I was anxious to try Stephanie's suggestion.

    Many people like Stephanie "try to limit [taco nights] to once a month because it's not the healthiest meal but it really makes everyone happy." So, I thought I'd share my prudent spin on taco's. Don't give up taco night, just taco well.

    1. Use organic ground beef/turkey or shredded beef/chicken.

    2. Make your own seasoning. It requires little effort and allows you to skip all the preservatives and other chemicals in the pre-packaged taco kits.
    For 1lb of meet use:
    1 T chili pwdr
    2 tsp. onion (powder or dry minced)
    1 tsp cumin

    1 tsp garlic
    1 tsp paprika
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 tsp sea salt

    3. Use organic, whole grain corn tortillas and/or hard shells.

    4. Warm organic re-fried black beans, spread on the tortilla and wrap around hard shell taco.

    5. Load taco with seasoned meat, cheese, fresh spinach leaves, diced tomato and fresh cilantro.

    6. Devour.

    7. Repeat.

    8. Poor leftover meat on pasta and sprinkle with cheese in thermos for to-go lunch or over broken tortilla chips with black beans, corn, fresh spinach leaves, and tomato for a quick taco salad.
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