Entertaining (mostly) Grain Free

Had a wonderful time catching up with our old friends (and watching our toddlers get to know each other- so cute!) We ate every meal here at the house during their visit, and the only time I spent in the kitchen (about 20 minutes) involved making this AMAZING grain free bread. (Click here for the recipe from Against All Grain). I misread the recipe and used tablespoons instead of teaspoons for the vinegar. I actually think it turned out even better. Gave it almost a sourdough flavor. We (four adults and two toddlers) ate the entire loaf in one sitting. I served it smothered in grass-fed butter alongside a roasted beet salad with citrus vinaigrette and organic chicken soup- all of which had been made ahead of time and just had to be warmed up and plated. I had a frosty glass of pomegranate kombucha with mine.


Our friends supplied the steaks for dinner, which the boys grilled while I warmed up the pre-baked sweet potatoes and sautéed the sprouts mixture I’d put together ahead of time. Dinner was on the table in 15 minutes. I love being prepared.


Dessert was not grain free. I made and froze this dish before I made the switch. Though I’m pretty sure it would be easily converted to grain free. I’ll have to try it soon. Anyway, it was a pear/peach cobbler made with brown rice flour (so it IS gluten free at least) and sweetened with honey. I adjusted my Granny’s old peach cobbler recipe to eliminate the refined sugars and wheat flour. Topped it off with coconut whip cream (the delicious white stuff from the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk, then mixed with vanilla extract and agave). Mmmmmmm. So good.


These were so easy, delicious and very filling. A pound of grassfed ground beef sautéed with a homemade Mexican seasoning blend, then put in crisp romaine “shells” and topped with avocado, chopped tomato, and shredded carrot. No grains, no dairy, no problem! 😉


Prepping for Visitors

I’m feeling good. Mouth is still healing and throat is slightly sore, but I’m almost back to normal. Today is the first day I haven’t needed to take one of those crazy pain pills. I’m going to stay at 10 mg (of prednisone) for this week, just to give myself a break before I taper down to 8 mg and risk another severe flare.

Plus we’re going to have visitors this week, and I’d rather not be sick. And I’d rather not spend the entire day in the kitchen while they’re here, trying to come up with something they’ll like to eat that fits with my diet plan. So I did a little planning and prep work today. Having these prepped meals on hand will also be nice in the event that I get sick again and need quick, easy options to feed my family.

Quick breakfast option: Sausage Skillet Scramble. Once this is prepped, you just throw a handful (per person) of the mix in a skillet and sauté until it’s almost done. Then scramble in a few eggs (or throw in a few handfuls of greens until wilted and serve topped with fried eggs).


I chopped an onion, a red pepper, a green pepper, and lots of garlic, and put them in a large plastic freezer bag. Slightly defrosted a package of Applegate Naturals Chicken Apple Breakfast Sausage, sliced ’em up and threw them in the bag. Then chopped and sautéed a large sweet potato until it was almost done (it’ll cook the rest of the way when I sauté it all together).


Mixed it all up in the bag and it’s ready to go.

I roasted some beets and baked some sweet potatoes to have on hand. The beets will be great in salads with a citrus vinaigrette and the potatoes will be a nice side dish along with a protein and green veggie.


Many people aren’t familiar with fresh beets, but they’re really easy to work with. To roast them, just trim off the leaves and “tail” and scrub clean. Put them in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 2 hours or so (it rarely takes that long, but I detest underdone root veggies). Once they’ve cooled enough to touch, it’s really easy to just peel off the skin, like I did here.


Beets are incredibly nutritious and are really helpful with detox. My old nutritionist graduated from Bastyr University and said anytime you eat with someone who went to school there, you can always bet on having beets and kale somewhere on the table.

Another quick lunch/dinner option I prepped is this Wienie Sprout Skillet. I used to make this with kielbasa sausage, but since nitrates/nitrites/MSG/etc. are no longer allowed in my house, I substituted Applegate Grass-fed Beef Hot Dogs. Into this plastic freezer bag, I threw a chopped onion, lots of garlic, 2 diced hot dogs, and a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts. When I go to make this dish, I’ll also put a few handfuls of spinach in the skillet just before its done cooking. It’s great on its own as a light lunch, or as a side dish for dinner.


A little prep work early in the week (or whenever you have time) makes it a lot easier to maintain your plan during busier moments. And now I know I’ll be able to relax and enjoy our company rather than worrying about what to feed them. And we all get the added benefit of our meals being super nutritious! Win-Win.


Getting better every day! 🙂

Baby girl and I managed church on our own this morning. Had a quick breakfast of grain-free granola before church. I made a batch before going to bed last night. It’s just a grainless variation on a homemade granola with oats that I’ve been making for a while.

It’s got tons of organic unsweetened coconut, raw sesame seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, chopped brazil nuts, chopped walnuts, and pine nuts sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger and drizzled with agave nectar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Baked at 350 for half an hour, stirring occasionally.


Totally hits the spot that would normally be filled with sweets or cereals. This would work nicely as a crunchy topping for baked fruit, too. This morning, I drenched it in coconut milk and topped it with banana.


My daughter is in the midst of potty training. She usually does a great job going #2, but will pee all over the place without a diaper on. However, she’s fearful about going #2 and will postpone it as long as she can. Because of this, she only goes every 3 days or so. Knowing what I’ve learned about digestion being the foundation for overall health, this concerns me. So I’ve been on a mission to boost her up with probiotics, prebiotics, fiber, and liquids to keep everything moving smoothly, whether she wants it to or not. To that end, we shared this awesome smoothie this afternoon.

Super-digestion Smoothie (tastes like a vanilla milkshake, but it will be very green)

Frozen banana
Vanilla protein powder (we used Garden of Life Raw Meal)
Huge handful of spinach (good prebiotics- food for the probiotics)
A couple tablespoons of flax seed (hello, fiber!)
Non-dairy milk of choice (we used almond)
Splash of kombucha (extra probiotics and fruity flavor)
Handful of prunes (adds sweetness, and everybody knows their digestive benefits)
Vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt (we use the pink stuff)
Cup of ice
Smidge of maple syrup (totally unnecessary, but I wanted to make it an extra special sweet treat for my daughter)
Empty in one capsule of probiotics before blending (we use Garden of Life Raw Probiotics- there’s 85 billion live cultures, 32 different strains- good stuff)

Very delicious and very filling.


Lesions and thrush continue to improve, though now the congestion and sore throat I’ve been fighting off seems to be digging in its nails. Coughed a lot during the night and am now losing my voice. Still not having the same throat issues as before (when it swells shut and affects swallowing and breathing) so I’m not concerned. And my ability to eat regular food continues to improve. I’m heading in the right direction.

Breakfast this morning was banana porridge from “Aainst All Grain”. It’s cashews and almonds, soaked overnight and blended with coconut milk, a ripe banana, cinnamon, and sea salt. The recipe called for pecans as well, but I didn’t have any, so I just added more of the other nuts. Great alternative to cream of wheat or oatmeal. It’s very rich, so a small serving is plenty. When my mouth is better, I’ll add some fresh fruit and coconut cream or dried fruit and nuts as a topping.


The fun thing about paleo is it brings back the possibility of hot dogs! These are Applegate Farms grass fed beef hotdogs. Other than just being a bit high in sodium, they’re pretty healthful as far as I can tell. The only other issue I have with Applegate Farms products is that they use carrageenan in some (not all) of their lunch meats. I’m not letting that keep me from buying their products at the moment, but it may be a deciding factor down the line if I find a better option.


I wrapped my hot dog in a homemade coconut crepe (eggs, coconut milk, coconut flour, coconut oil, and sea salt) also from “Against All Grain”. It ended up tasting like a corn dog. Put some raw fermented sauerkraut and organic ketchup and mustard on the side. Delish.

I intend to also use these crepes as tortillas and sandwich wraps, though at this point, only about 50% of my attempts actually come out looking like crepes. Hopefully, practice will improve that percentage. In the meantime, the other 50% goes into dishes like this- perfect for my toddler- a paleo hot dog bowl. Crumbled crepe, sliced hot dog, swirl of ketchup and mustard, topped with sauerkraut.


I am really loving the “Against All Grain” cookbook right now. Danielle Walker (the author) cured herself from a nearly fatal case of ulcerative colitis by following the SCD (specific carbohydrate diet) then transitioned into paleo after the birth of her son and a severe flare triggered by several months of deviating from her diet plan (and the mess of post-natal hormones, I’m sure). I got my copy on Amazon. If you’re interested in the cookbook, click here. She also has a fantastic blog. If you’re interested in that, click here. Though her site is mostly focused on her book tour at the moment. This cookbook is likely to be my non-grains bible for the foreseeable future.

Solid Food!!! Woo-hoo!!!

Today would’ve been my seventh full day on liquids. This flare, triggered when I hit the 10 mg mark of my prednisone taper, has been one of the most severe flares I’ve ever had. It has not been the most painful or the scariest by any means. But it has been long and hard and my mouth has been an absolute mess. I’ve never had this many lesions at once. And they’re everywhere. I posted some really disgusting photos on a separate page titled “An Ugly Flare” if you’re interested in seeing what’s been happening in my mouth.

Thankfully, I haven’t had any problems with my throat or swallowing, and very little pain associated with drinking. So I’ve been able to stay nourished and hydrated using some good meal replacements and supplements from Garden of Life, along with lots of bone broth and kombucha. If not for the hydrocodone/acetaminophen pill I’ve had to take twice a day most days to function somewhat normally, it could’ve been a decent detox.

Today, the lesions are beginning to scab over and some of the scabs are falling off. (Gross, I know, but that’s what happens, and that’s how I can tell when the flare is wrapping up and I’ll be feeling better soon, so I always get really excited when this process starts!) My tongue isn’t as swollen and the thrush is beginning to recede a bit. So, without the danger of chewing off a chunk of my swollen tongue, I decided today might be a good day to attempt to eat something a little more solid.

Coming off of this forced detox also puts me in a unique position to change my diet, possibly start an elimination diet. I’ve been researching and thinking about some different options the last few days. I decided to just stick with something simple for now, but something new that I haven’t tried yet. Eliminating ALL grains. That’s right. No rice, no quinoa, no oats, no gluten free bread, wraps, or crackers- unless they are also grain free, which is rare.

I’ll still be able to make baked goods from coconut and almond flours, and I’ve found some great cookbooks and online resources for recipes, so I’m not too worried about feeling deprived. This will just be another small adjustment.

I’m also going to strictly eliminate dairy (again). I may incorporate some raw goat milk products further down the line, but not anytime soon. My body has let me know that dairy is not good for me right now (congestion, headaches, acne) so I need to honor that, regardless of my love for cheese. And I considered following something close to the autoimmune paleo protocol, which eliminates eggs and nightshades (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) but I’ll save that for later if eliminating grains doesn’t work on its own.

So, I’m basically paleo now, I guess.

And here’s what I had for my first solid meal in a week. Applegate Farms Smoked Turkey and avocado wraps dipped on homemade mayo and organic spicy mustard.


The first bite was pretty rough. I realized I should’ve trimmed off the harder edges of the turkey as they stabbed various sensitive spots inside my mouth, and my tongue moved quickly to try to alleviate that pain, causing more pain to the tender underside of my tongue… ending up with me virtually swallowing the first bite whole, without chewing at all. I took a pain pill, waited 5 minutes, and tried again. Tearing off smaller pieces of turkey and eating the avocado by itself. Slowly, bite by bite, I eat the first roll-up. It is delicious, but I am exhausted. I think, “That’s it. I can’t eat the other two. I’m still so hungry, but I just can’t do it.” By now, it’s been about 20 minutes since I took the pain pill (yes, it took that long to eat one little roll-up.) And I am so hungry I decide to just take one bite of the second roll-up. Chew, swallow, no problem. Yay! I didn’t think I could do it, but I end up eating all three. So satisfying!

Dinner was served up by my sweet husband. Salmon and spinach. Perfect paleo meal. Thanks, babe.


I was able to eat most of it.