How are you doing? Are you anxious and worried. Me too. I thought I would do a post with some of the things that I hope will help me through this uncertain time.
Routines! As a Professional Organizer routines are my life blood. I felt very ungrounded the last few days, even weeks with all the swirling news and prep anxiety. Creating routines can help normalize some of what we are all about to go through. Take some time to think about the things you want to do and how your energy flows through out the day. Be flexible with yourself until you get into a flow with your new routines.
Move. Make sure to get exercise. There are great free Youtube videos, my favorite is Yoga by Adrienne. My feline Benji’s are always there to take up room on my yoga mat. I will be upping my step goal from 10K to 12K and plan on at least two walks a day.
Listen to a great podcast. Today I listened to one of my favorites, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Here special bonus really had some great tips for being happier during this time and I plan on sharing my “19 for COVID-19” tomorrow.
Get outside and take a “green break”. Even though it is still mostly brown and gray here in Chicago (and white last night), the trees are starting to bud and the bulbs are popping up! I can’t wait to see the happy yellow daffodils everywhere.
Use technology to your advantage. I must admit that I am a luddite often when it comes to technology. But I plan on using this time to hone my video conferencing skills and facetiming someone daily.
Hygge to the rescue. I have fallen by the wayside of inviting hygge into my everyday. I have incorporated it into some of my daily routines but reminding myself that I am not watching tv while eating to enjoy my food more and feel cozy will help me to feel like I am taking care of myself.
I am trying to keep most things in my life the same. I will cook and bake. I will start to get my garden ready. I will share some great gluten-free and allergy-free foods, and I will work on some of those things that I keep pushing aside.
Yesterday was Pi day and I made Strawberry Pie for dessert. Simple traditions are sometimes the best things.
I was happy to finally find the BFree pizza at a local Aldi. Before I went nightshade-free their potato rolls were one of my favorite gluten-free breads. So I naturally thought when I did find this pizza crust everyone loved, it would contain potatoes and I would not be able to eat it. I was wrong. It is free of night shades.
There are two pizza crusts per package. One I used to make a traditional pepperoni pizza using Boar’s Head pepperoni and tomato sauce with spices. The other I drizzled with olive oil and added chopped garlic to before topping both with Aldi’s vegan white cheese shreds.
My kids said the nightshade containing pizza was good, and I enjoyed the nightshade-free pizza. The crust is somewhat dry and not as crispy as I would like, but next time I think I will precook it some before adding the toppings.
I think these crusts were a special buy since I have not seen them in a while but I hope Aldi brings them back with the rest of the gluten-free things for May when they have gluten-free awareness month.
I know I post mostly sweets on this blog. I feel that it is easier to get a snacks or meal made by someone else that is free of all the things I avoid, but cookies and other sweets are not as easy to find. My allergic child can have nightshades so I do buy store bought gluten-free treats. I just can’t eat them since most contain potato starch.
I like making this with leftover chicken and rice. Making it a fast meal during the week. When I first started making this I would replace the sesame oil with olive. It was good without it so those avoiding sesame replace it with the oil of your choice. I have come to realize one of the things I like about this is the sesame oil.
I use frozen veggies I get at Aldi and often add other veggies that I have in the fridge or freezer. I like to add corn and green beans. In the pictures you will see that I was out of carrots when I made this batch of fried rice. This recipe can easily be doubled and reheats well for leftovers the next day. You can also replace the protein with another, or leave it out and add even more vegetables. Also if you want to replace the rice with a riced vegetable that works too.
The year of the rat started last week and I celebrated with some homemade fortune cookies. You really do need to move fast when they come out of the oven to get the four on the cookie pan shaped properly. I had just watched the The Great British Baking Show (S05:E02) where the technical was fortune cookies. I don’t remember which contestant put the still warm shaped cookies inside a muffin tin, but this is definitely the best way for them to retain their shape while they cool.
They were easy to make, and it was fun to have for this years Lunar New Year. Next time I may attempt the orange flavored ones from the Great British Baking Show.
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.
Happy 2020. I took a long time off for the holidays this year. It was a much needed break for me and I was able to visit family and spend time with those I love.
Traveling can cause a lot of anxiety for those of us who have to avoid food due to Celiac Disease, Food Allergies and other food avoidance diagnosis. Extra planning for your travels and taking your own food helps ease some of the anxiety with travel. For me, if you have been following you know, I take Bobo bars or Bobo bites. I always take a reusable water bottle to fill up at the airport after going through security. I also pack a reusable thermos for hot coffee.
When planning for a trip check out the airport you will be traveling to and from ahead of time. Even if there is just the standard gas station offerings there can be some safe food. For my Dairy/Soy/Peanut/Tree nut allergic Celiac child, Lay’s potato chips are offered almost everywhere.
Now that I am back and spent the last two weekends binging three seasons of The Great British Baking Show I have so many baking ideas in my head. I love the bold flavor combinations that so many of the contestants use in their bakes. I am not very artistic and the thought of piping anything is intimidating. My baking goals for the year do include “learn how to decorate cookies and cakes.” For today I will stick with some of my tried and true recipes.
My local veggie market has had blueberries at a great price so I made blueberry crisp twice this past week. I love my Apple Crisp recipe but find this drier topping pairs well with blueberries. You could use it with any fruit, and the addition of the oatmeal is a nice texture change from the hot fruit.
I heat this up for a treat mid-day, but have been known to have it for breakfast.
Thanksgiving is over and I now have 8 batches of Turkey Carcass Soup in my freezer. (I actually ran out of freezer safe containers!)
I’m reflecting on my words for 2019. Comfort. Connection. Confidence. They all served me well as guides through the year. I’m using both my Passion Planner and Leone’s Shining Year Planner to finish up this year and start visioning my 2020. I am on the hunt for a word for 2020 and paying attention to the ones that cross my path often. This Words for the year2018 is a good list of words to choose from when deciding on a theme word for the year. I have done this for a number of years now. I also have made a vision board the last few years. I have in the past created a vision board on my own, or with an amazing group of friends. My vision boards have also helped guide me through the year focused on my goals and values.
I have started my “Winter 2019 Hygge Challenge”. Carving out a few minutes each day to feel comfort in my space. What I like the most about Hygge is it is the intentional slowing down and savoring the comfort of what you are doing. Three years ago my word for the year was Zest. This is what I wanted, the intentionality of action.
I am spending my Hygge moment today with Aldi’s Candy Cane tea. One of the things I am allergic to is tea Yes everything fro the tea plant. This makes warm winter drinks a treasure hunt. I like plain peppermint tea and drink it often. This mint tea blend with the addition of cinnamon and chicory makes a lovely tea to spend your Hygge moment savoring.
2019 Aldi Candy Cane Tea
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are starting to enjoy some Hygge moments of your own.
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 really am a creature of habit. I have oatmeal almost everyday of the year. Yes, hot and hot coffee. When I am traveling I bring along oatmeal packs or eat BoBo Bars.
I had been making batches of oatmeal in the slow cooker until I found that you can make it in the pressure cooker. It’s easy and fast (under 30 minutes).
I usually make enough for 5-6 days. Having a breakfast that I just need to heat up makes my mornings go smoother.
My favorite oatmeal to make this way is Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats. I like to use a one to one ratio for the Oatmeal, one cup water for every one cup of oatmeal. I usually make a batch of 3 cups of oatmeal which gives me around 6 servings.
I store it in a container in the refrigerator and take some out each morning. It would work too to store it in glass single serve containers to be reheated individually.
I add a non-dairy milk, cinnamon and brown sugar to enjoy each morning. With hot coffee of course.
3 cups Oatmeal (I use Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats)
3 cups Water
Put Oatmeal and water in the Instapot or pressure cooker.
Set the pressure cooker to 8-10 minutes on the rice setting.
Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then open and enjoy!
I store in the refrigerator and take some out each morning to have for breakfast. It could also be stored in single serve glass containers to be heated up in the morning, a little bit more time saved in your day. – Susan