January 2020 has already been a success and a test of my word for the year.
I had three words for 2019, Connection, Comfort and Confidence. I needed all of them last year as I tried to do more professionally, put myself out there as an expert in living a life with multiple food allergies and Celiac disease, and feel comfortable in my life doing those things.
My word for this year is Refresh. There are many ways I feel like I am going through the motions in my business and in my life. There are somethings I need to go back to the drawing board on, some I need to take a step back and start again, and some I need to radically mend and shock myself with action. I need a refresh.
I think both of refreshing a computer when it is stuck and refreshing a room with a new coat of paint. I am also refreshing some of my go to recipes and reaching outside my comfort zone to expand my food knowledge and ways of cooking to support both my own eating and for those I am coaching.
I’m always looking to add more fresh fruits, veggies and greens to my menus. I feel fuller throughout the day when I add a salad to my lunch. I like making salad like Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad or some other “planned/recipe” salad. One of the reason’s I am not making salads from greens is that it is hard to find a dressing that is free of all the ingredients we avoid.
One of my #2020goals is to make dressing twice a month. There are a few I already make and like but want to add more to my rotation. I love this Strawberry Basil dressing. It is easy to make and during the summer I can use the basil from my garden. It will keep for just a few days in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. My trick in the winter is to make it with frozen strawberries. Not as flavorful as fresh picked in June but still a great dressing for greens.
I have finished my menu planning for our Thanksgiving dinner. This year it will be mostly traditional foods.
A big turkey from Trader Joe’s. Stuffing made from Walmart’s gluten-free white bread. Rolls made from teff flour. My kids favorite chocolate pie. The salad may change to Brussels sprout salad, but then I would need to change my roasted vegetable.
I’m really looking forward to the leftovers. I love Turkey Dill Salad. A whole cup of dill in one salad.
I went to Woodman’s this week and they had many products for your milk-free, gluten-free Thanksgiving.
They had the Earth Balance Soy Free Sticks. I had not been able to find these for awhile. Whole Foods (the one by me) had stopped selling them.
SoDelicious Oatmilk Vanilla
SoDelicious Oatmilk Snickerdoodle
I was excited to see these creamers. Last years list of 100 things included start drinking coffee black. The switch was not as hard as I expected and now I don’t feel as bad about the brown sugar I put in my oatmeal. I used the vanilla creamer in a chocolate frosting I made for a friends birthday cake and it was amazing!
Aleia’s Stuffing Mix
Aleia’s Stuffing Mix Ingredients
Woodman’s carries so many good brands for those on a gluten-free diet. I had not seen the Aleia’s brand stuffing that so many people were asking questions about in the gluten-free groups. I was happy to see that it was also free of milk. (It does contain eggs.)
They had some of the Enjoy Life holiday cookies. The Kinnikinnick Gram Style Crumbs would be a great shortcut for making pie crusts. Full circle Market Organic Gluten-Free Fried Onions were a good find too. It has been hard this year to find the Aldi Gluten-Free Fried Onions so it is great to have an alternative.
I am making my usual holiday menu. With lots of extra for leftovers for the weekend and for the freezer.
There are lots of questions about stuffing. I have been to Trader Joes and Aldi. Both of their boxed stuffing mixes contain milk so I will not be using them but I do think they are a great option for those new to the gluten-free lifestyle.
Aldi Live G Free Stuffing 2019
Aldi Live G Free Stuffing 2019
I use an old stuffing recipe and sub my favorite gluten-free bread. I’ve always used untoasted bread, torn into bite size pieces. Last year I used Walmarts gluten-free bread and will use it again this year. I made garlic bread with Canyon Bakehouse’s Mountain White last night and have some left over. I may make a small batch of stuffing with this as the base if I have some extra time today or tomorrow. To see if it makes a better stuffing base.
Today I am making a batch of Chicken Bone Broth – in the Pressure Cooker. I made lots of chicken wings the other day so I would have plenty for a batch of broth to help get me through making all the sides for Thanksgiving.
My menu includes a salad, corn casserole, a big turkey, roasted brussels sprouts, cranberry fluff, and a chocolate pie dessert that I make with Daiya Cream Cheese (contains nightshades) for my kids. On my list of 100 things for 2020 includes making my own dairy-free cream cheese that is nightshade free.
How are you preparing for Thanksgiving? What is on your menu?
I often make sandwich salads. The kind of salad you put on a sandwich, tuna salad, ham salad, and chicken salad. It helps to have something prepped to have for lunch or a snack for when days get busy. I like this salad by itself, with some salad greens from the garden, or on a slice of gluten-free bread.
If you are nightshade-free make sure to check your mayonnaise. I make my own mayonnaise using sunflower oil, eggs, and lemon juice. If you are using store bought lok for one without paprika.
Organizing wise I am washing and packing away the rest of the winter coats. I had packed away the boots and snow pants a few weeks ago. My kids are older and the amount of “after school’s out” paper deluge is becoming less and less. In fact I only have one packet of papers from one child and a small pile from the other. Such a relief.
We are having a few friends over to celebrate the end of school and are planning a super simple menu. Chips and salsa, fruit, drinks and some yummy baked goods. (Including the awesome little sugar cookies in the above picture!)
In the garden I have lots of seedlings coming up and have planted plenty of tomato plants. I know, “but you can’t eat tomatoes”! But I feel a vegetable garden is not a garden without tomatoes. So this year I have 5 different types, and a few pepper plants too. My favorite part of gardening is letting things bloom and go to seed.
In part of my garden I currently have a blanket of fennel, dill, cilantro, mustard, and borage seedlings. It smells heavenly when you walk through them. I’ll pull most of it up in a few weeks when I plant another round of seeds.
The Nourished Festival is in Chicago this weekend. If you are new to Celiac/Food Allergies it is a great place to get know companies that truly care about allergy friendly foods. If you have been living with Celiac/Food Allergies for awhile it is always good to scope out the new finds and sample some of the new products that will be in stores soon. I shared the event on the Cygnet Organizing facebook page and if you buy tickets ahead of time there is a discount.
Part of being an AllerCoach™ is Auto injector education. Always have at least two auto injectors with you.
I’m not sure I would be brave enough to not have my auto injector secured inside of something, but this made my day to see this woman biking. I usually use a running belt to hold my Auvi-q’s and phone while biking, but may need to get a real bike shirt.
I love this salad and have made it for multiple potlucks and parties. The dressing is what makes the salad. It is creamy and garlicy and wonderful!
I make it both with chickpeas and without. I often cut up the veggies the night before and make the dressing right before the event. Since the dressing is avocado base it does turn a little gray after 24 hours. Leftovers still taste good!
Life seems to get busier with every season. Everyone says “enjoy it the kids will be out of the house before you know it.” Part of enjoying the time is not stressing over dinner. Easier said than done with so much going on and so many foods to avoid, I had read that pasta in a pressure cooker was easy. I was skeptical but it turned out really well.
I browned the ground beef on the stove instead of using the sauté mode of the pressure cooker. I just find it easier. You could definitely do this the day before or earlier in the day.
I still feel new to the world of pressure cookers. I haven’t been wow’d by everything I’ve made and there are a few recipes that I am hoping to improve upon.
We are expected to get a snow storm over the weekend and that means SOUP!
I hope to have both pressure cookers going most of the weekend making Chicken Bone Broth and a vegan version with just herbs and veggies.
Besides shoveling I will enjoy some of my January 2019 Wish List there will be lots of hot chocolate, fires in the fireplace, and a walk in the snow.
I am simplifying my holiday decorations and plan to spend some of this long weekend going through some of the Christmas and Valentines decorations. Today I am dropping off a load of things I have already sorted and decided to donate. Then off to a grocery store or two to pick up the ingredients for the multiple batches of soup.