Cheese Continues to Be The Answer. Also? Bacon.

  
My experimentation with items from Trader Joe’s continues to satisfy my every cheesy, gluten free, grain free need with this green bean casserole kicked up a few notches to five thousand & twenty on a scale of 1-100.

Let’s make it!

Preheat your oven to 400 & get out the following:

1/2 bag of cleaned & trimmed green beans

1/2 package of Just Chicken

4 oz bacon cheddar

That’s it!

Take an 8×8 roasting pan & layer the green beans, then the chicken, then crumble the cheese on top. Put in the middle rack of your 400 oven for 30 minutes & voila! Makes two servings adding up to the following nutritional benefits & 322 calories (per one serving):

   
 Some prep notes:

If you’re like me & have fibromyalgia, or some other neuromuscular thing like MS or what have you, or just have weak hands or are lazy, I don’t chop on bad days. Sometimes a knife is truly dangerous in my hands, & some days it’s like an artist’s brush. But today There Would Have Been Blood.

So the reason I spend a little more for fresh-yet-pre-cleaned green beans & Just Chicken (as opposed to chicken that isn’t already cooked) is so I don’t have to use a knife. I can tear it with my hands if I need it smaller. Or smoosh it, depending on my level of dexterity. Something to think about.

The most important thing is that this is amazing & has 9 net carbs. NINE. But it has no potassium, so figure that out somehow with your other foods.

Make it & post your mods below!

Cheese Is the Answer

  
Do you want this? Are you on a grain free diet? Behold! I will make your day with this thing I just improvised after a mad dash to Trader Joe’s, land of amazing cheeses.

Here’s the recipe (a bit over 500 calories a serving). Preheat an oven to 400 & then take from the cupboard & fridge:

-1 package chopped butternut squash

-1 can half salt albacore tuna

-2 tablespoons organic mayo

-1/8 tsp garlic powder

-black peppercorns in a grinder (or black pepper to taste)

-4oz carmelized onion cheddar

Tastiness assemble!

Open & drain the can of tuna, then dump into a bowl & stir in the mayo, garlic powder, & a few grinds of pepper.

Now dump the butternut squash into a roasting pan (I used an 8×8). You don’t need to grease! Spoon the tuna mixture over the squash, then crumble the cheese evenly over the top.

Pop this on the middle rack in your 400 oven & pull out after 30 minutes, then eat! Yum! 

This should feed two people (have a salad or something on the side) or one hungry person who hasn’t eaten much during the day (not recommended as this dish is heavy on the Vitamin A, which you must not over do).

Here is the nutrition profile for 1 generous serving:

   
 
Tell me what you think when you make this, & any mods you came up with, in the comments below! I never make a recipe without tweaking it, so I assume y’all also personalize. For example, Amelia might substitute chicken for tuna and heavy cream for mayo or she may just light the whole thing on fire & throw it in the trash.

Make This; Feel Joy

  

This is a crappy picture of a delicious dinner. Let us waste no time getting you to a place of joy. Here’s how you make it:

Layer one cup of cooked lentils under one sliced green onion, a small handful of mint chiffonade, two ounces chèvre, and one chopped gluten free sausage. In this instance I used Aidell’s sundried tomato sausage.

Add salt & pepper to taste (I added nothing) & enjoy!

Here is the nutrition profile, as estimated by My Fitness Pal:

  

419 calories of joy. 

Buttery Butter Cake, Grain Free!

There is no photo of the Buttery Butter Cake as it was inhaled.

Y’all are familiar with my gluten free almond cake & have frequently enjoyed it at my home or elsewhere. Those of you who love it will be shocked to learn that there exists a person near & dear to my heart who despises everything that even tastes remotely of marzipan in much the same way that I hate having my fingernails ripped off while a Jersey housewife reads from Leviticus. And that person would be my mother.

As I was heading to her Ventura Get Away Abode (a double wide in a senior living park on the harbour) that Saturday, & knowing that she likes to have something a little sweet with tea, & knowing that I myself have completely gone off grains due to wanting to die when I eat them, I decided to modify my almond cake recipe.

My inspiration came from the buttery flavour of cashews.

If you have any vegan friends, you know that these folk make pretty much every fake dairy product on the planet from cashews. Cashew cheese, cashew cream, cashew milk…& I understand why. When I eat the roasted, salted kind, I am distinctly aware of their buttery flavour.

My buttery butter cake recipe is basically the almond cake recipe, but with cashews. Gather:

-2 cups of raw cashews
-1/2 cup of sugar
-1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
-3/4 cup of egg whites
-1 stick of unsalted butter, room temp

Pulse the cashews & sugar in a food processor until almost powdery. Add the last 3 ingredients & pulse till combined. The “dough” is pretty thick.

Butter an 8×8 pan (or a 9×9 if you want more delicious crispy edges & bottoms), pour in the dough, shake to even out & put in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. This is so easy you can do it while waiting for a laundry cycle.

I wait about 5 minutes before cutting it w/ a butter knife into 8 bars, then let it cool a little longer. It is AMAZING with PG Tips. It’s good warm & cold. It would take double cream & curd well if you wanted to serve it as an afternoon tea cake. I think it would take a melted chocolate top well also.

My mother is not a sweets person, but when I went to take the leftovers home, there was one bar left with a big bite out of it. She fessed up.

You can use as little as a quarter cup of sugar & it’s still ok, it’s just more like a grainless bread at that point. I would also use only a quarter cup of sugar if you were going to glaze it or ice it.

I have now been charged with bringing a buttery butter cake to anything involving my mother ever.

Almost Prep Free Lazy Ass Real Food Chicken Vegetable Soup

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Not only is this recipe a lazy as hell, but I will lazily post pics of the recipe, because I’ve been having celiac reactions & fibro pain. Absolutely everything in it was purchased at Trader Joe’s (except the coconut oil, as I was out & had to borrow), but you could easily do something similar at Whole Foods or even a regular supermarket:

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The only thing you need chop is the chicken!

Briefly heat the coconut oil until it’s in liquid form, then add the mirepoix. Once softened, add the chopped up chicken (half inch slices are sufficient) to brown a bit. Add the broth & bring to a boil. Then add the vegetables, add water to cover, reduce to a simmer, & leave until it achieves the crispness/softness you desire. At the very end, add the mustard. You’re done!

This makes 8 generous servings & here are the nutrition stats per each:

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So yeah, you can have seconds. If you want more salt, you can always add some sea salt while the chicken browns.

I’m using this soup to heal up after a particularly nasty celiac/lactose incident. I already feel better; I hope you do, too!

(Sorry, I can’t be funny when I spent the whole last 3 days no more than 30 seconds from a loo.)

Lazy Ass Mexicanish Chicken Kinda

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In my quest to simplify from-scratch foods for the chronically ill & terminally lazy, I have come up with One Pot Mostly Healthful Chipotle Chicken Thighs. You can boast of this as “from scratch” despite the fact that you do virtually nothing. It’s also a great way to add coconut oil to your diet (to shore up your nervous system & support your thyroid) without trying to figure out how many recipes you can make that taste like coconut.

On a good day when you can leave the house, purchase a package of chicken thighs. There’s usually 5 in there. I use thighs for stuff like this because the extra fat allows the meat to fall apart in a tasty way, rather than chicken breasts, which shred into low fat shards of rubber.

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil on highish. I promise by the time you’re done, you won’t taste it.

Squish the thighs into the oil (don’t burn yourself). It doesn’t matter if they don’t all sit on the bottom because they will shrink & you’re going to mash em all up anyway. Salt the top with sea or kosher salt. When you think the thighs have browned a bit, turn em over, squish em again, & brown the other side. Salt again.

Now get out a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These can be found in the ineptly titled “Latin” aisle in your grocery shop or even more cheaply in an actual Mexican mercado (which I realize you may not have in the Midwest). Open it & dump that sucker in there. Reduce the heat to medium low & leave it for like an hour. You may want to come back & stir it during commercials. Make sure it’s simmering & not boiling. When it’s done, & you’ve given it a good stir with something sturdy, it’ll look like the above photo.

There, it’s done!

You can serve it over brown rice, pintos, corn chips for a nacho situation, or like I did, which was to put a couple ounces in two corn tortillas with a dab of plain Greek yogurt & some reduced fat cheddar…

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…like so. In this incarnation you’re getting 27 grams of protein.

If you’re feeling less lazy or achy, chop up some scallions, cilantro, & kale for a fairly healthful salad. If I were serving this to company, I’d add a couple tablespoons of organic honey during cooking (unless they too were watching their sugar). The peppers caramelize fairly well without a sweetener, though, so it’s not necessary.

Clean up: this part kind of sucks for the weak & achy. Once you’ve emptied the pot into a container, & while the pot is still hot, fill it about a quarter way up with hot water & a squirt of washing up liquid. Let it sit while you eat, then fill it with cooler water & scrub away. Alternately you can let it sit until all the crunchy gunge melts off.

Enjoy & tell me how you serve this chicken so I may steal your lazy version for achy days.

Lazy Ass BBQ Chicken Salad

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Errbody with a chronic illness knows that salads are a pain in the ass. You’ve gotta wash, chop, & compose a plate while wielding a knife, which is a special challenge when you’re having a super gimpy day like I am. Below I will describe how I whipped up the above DELICIOUS salad (I crave em when I’m hurty) even while dropping All The Things.

My journey began at Ralph’s. I knew I didn’t want frozen chicken, & I sure as hell didn’t want that weird prepackaged deli roast chicken that tastes like it was raised on a salt farm next to the Chemistry Sea. I also knew I had no energy to roast or even boil a chicken breast.

Behold! Rotisserie chicken! But no. Their regular $8.99 rotisserie chicken lists in the ingredients “natural flavours”, which every celiac knows usually means “We rubbed this chicken with 5 metric assloads of wheat for secret bread illuminati reasons.” Natural flavours are usually the hidden gluten in everything, so I was sad.

Then I noticed the rotisserie barbecue chicken in a bag. At $6.99, it clearly listed every ingredient (chicken, a variety of spices & no mystery “natural flavours”). I got that, a big ass cucumber, some goat cheese, diced onion (cannot dice today without killing myself), a bunch of cilantro, & went home.

I have one of those easy peelers, so peeling one cucumber wasn’t too bad. I then seeded it with a teaspoon & chopped it up. Definitely no perfect cubes today. I then threw on a cup of pre washed, pre cut kale I had in the fridge, a table spoon of onion, an ounce of crumbled chèvre, a handful of torn cilantro, & an entire half a chicken breast, skin on, torn. It’s like a caveman who hates seeds made this salad.

It’s also 427 calories and over 50 grams of proteiny deliciousness! You can use a skinless breast for less calories. I just realized I coulda thrown some chia seeds on there, too. You can also leave off the chèvre for less calories/no dairy.

Lazy food that tastes like I got it from a Santa Monica boutique cafe makes me happy on a lurpy, achy day. If I can do it, anyone can. Experiment!

Fauxian Cuisine For Sick or Lazy People

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I’m a big fan of “use what you have” cuisine, and because I’m on a high protein, low carb diet, I have a lot of chicken and green vegetables.

Because I have fibromyalgia, I have to be prepared at all times to not be able to move. As processed food makes fibro worse, I’m not going to order in food or have crap in the freezer, so I buy things at the store when I’m well that I can easily fix when I’m sick.

This is a little thang I whipped up tonight. It clocks in at just under 500 calories and has almost 55 grams of protein! Here’s how:

1. Dump half a bag of frozen broccoli on a microwavable plate.
2. Add 6 oz of grilled chicken on top.
3. In a small bowl, mix together a tbsp of tamari, a half a tsp of cock sauce, & 1/4 a cup of cashews. Omit the cashews & save 180 calories, but lose 5g of protein. If I had ginger I would have totally grated some in. Pour on top of the chicken.
4. Put in the microwave & hit “reheat”.

I call this kind of ghetto fusion cuisine “Fauxian” cos it’s not really Asian, but it’s way totally trying hard.

Super Green Guac

Twitter has spoken, so I’m gonna have to post the recipe for the best guacamole I’ve ever made. It happened by accident when I realized I had no tomatoes. It is a pure green guac, but if you really can’t live without tomatoes, you could always pop in an heirloom.

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I add the avocado last so it’ll stay luscious, green, & not that sort of baby poo brown it gets after some time goes by.

Mince:
-2 large cloves of garlic
-1 or 2 jalapeños
-two scallions (slice lengthwise & sliver)
-a handful of cilantro

Throw in a bowl, then cut & scoop 2 ripe avocados. Juice half a lime & add that. Get your potato masher & go crazy. I like to imagine the faces of my enemies in the bowl. Once the avocado is a gooey pulp, as should be your enemies’ faces, give it all a good stir w/ as much sea salt as you need.

Serve with delicious tasty dipping things. I like tortilla chips, carrot sticks, or celery.

Mmm, enemies’ mashed faces. Great for parties!

Cake Or Death? Uh, Cake Please!

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I’ve tweeted my various experiments with almond-based cake, & I keep promising to perfect the recipe from Pati’s Mexican Kitchen cos the damn thing has too much vanilla in it. Don’t get me wrong; it’s good if you hate almonds.

Me? I LURVE me some marzipan something fierce so I want it to taste like that, except bigger and cake! If like me you have celiac disease or, unlike me, a nasty gluten or wheat allergy, this recipe is for you. Have your cake and DON’T get dysentery from it, too!

Another glorious side effect of the almond cake is weight loss. Now, I am by no means advocating the inhaling of cake in order to slim down. We all know it’s about calories in & out. However, this cake is so dense & full of protein that a small amount keeps my hunger at bay for a good long time. Since I’ve been making & experimenting with this cake, I’ve lost two pounds without changing anything additional in my diet. Granted, I’m not sucking down ice cream. But still! Delicious diet cake!

Here’s how you make this bitch:

Go to the store & purchase:
-2 cups of slivered almonds (I prefer toasted to blanched)
-3/4 a cup of sugar
-a teaspoon to a tablespoon of almond extract (to taste)
-8 egg whites, or 4 whole eggs
-1/2 a cup of room temperature butter
-raspberry jam/jelly
-a food processor

If you already have these things at home, you need not purchase them.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees & butter an 8×8 pan.

Dump the almonds & sugar into the food processor & pulse into a relatively fine powder. It need not be as fine as wheat flour, but you don’t want it coarse meal, either.

Now dump in the extract & eggs, then smoosh the room temp butter in on top. Process until completely incorporated & smooth.

Pour the batter into the pan & put in the oven for 30 minutes. If a chopstick or toothpick comes out clean at the end, it’s done. Set on a rack to cool. While still hot, spoon a couple of tablespoons of jam (jelly if you don’t want seeds) on to the hot cake & spread it across the top of the cake once it’s melted a little.

Leave the cake to cool as long as you can stand it.

Here’s the honesty part. I cut the cake into 16 pieces. You may as well just cut it into four, as that’s how you’ll want to eat it. I tend to eat two little pieces at a time, so technically I should cut it into 8ths, but I like to pretend I’m having seconds.

It’s good warm, but it’s fricken amazing cold, cos then it’s more like marzipan. This cake is truly eyes-roll-back-in-your-head embarrassing-public-orgasm good. It’s amazing with almond milk or strong black tea, & I’ve been told it can probably be easily made as a vegan treat (by vegans who presumably want me to make it for them).

This a snap for even achy fibromyalgics like me or super lazy people to make. I think its even easier than my old shortbread recipe.

Wrap the top w/ foil & stick in the fridge for future enjoyment. I plan to try a chocolate topped version for when I want to impress women.

Best of all, the base recipe is a snap & you can modify to your heart’s content, which is how I ended up with this one. You can get fancy & do it in a spring form pan with parchment paper, but seriously, who cares? It lifts out of the pan more easily than brownies, so unless you want to decorate, you can just do it like a sheet cake. You could use different jams, or different extracts (I bet coconut would be good…Ooh with grilled rum pineapple on top & whipped coconut milk!).

What I’m saying is, even men can make this. Go forth & delight the womenfolk! No one will ever choose “or death”…except people with horrendous nut allergies, of course. Send them round the corner to get a plain old normal people cake, then. Weirdos.