Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blood Pressure and Adventures in Gluten-Free Land

Things got a little bit crazy last week; I had a problem with my blood pressure dropping way too low on Tuesday. I nearly passed out at work!  Silly me, I thought I was coming down with the stomach flu until I really started thinking about it and realized I was experiencing symptoms since the day before and it might just be blood pressure related.  The doctor confirmed it, 72/58, and that’s when I was feeling better, who knows what it was when I thought I was going to end up on the floor!  She made some medication adjustments, told me to drink a lot more water and had me buy a blood pressure monitor to check it periodically.  I have been doing ok since, the bp has been a bit on the lower side, 100/62, but at least it’s more positive than before. 

Besides that I’m happy to report I’m starting to feel better.  I’m not exhausted like I was, I do still get tired easily and quickly but I figure that will be improving more as I go.  The gluten-free eating has been a lot easier than I thought it would be, I just have to adjust to making everything from scratch (which is better for us anyway).

I have come up with a couple of great recipes and found some products along the way.  Veggie stir fry (I found a fantastic gluten-free soy sauce, right a Kroger), Bragg Liquid Aminos, it’s great! Chicken Enchiladas (my own recipe) and a few from others as well.  I’m still learning everything but I’m slowly coming around.  My step this week is fitting it all into my weekly WW points (ha, notice the pun, “fitting”).  Anyway, so far so good.

I’m not going to post everything I ate since last week, instead I figured I would share some of my recipes so far.  I haven’t had any trouble with them, but, as is always the case when eating gluten-free, you need to be sure you are ok with all of the ingredients yourself.

Veggie Stir Fry (serves 4-6)

1 T olive oil (you could use peanut as well)
1 inch section of fresh ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into small strips
½ package of cole slaw mix (this one had cabbage and carrots)
2 T of soy sauce (I used Bragg Liquid Aminos)
1 T of rice wine vinegar
2 cups brown rice (I cooked a bunch over the weekend to use in various things)

1.                   heat olive oil up in a pan on medium high heat
2.                   add in ginger, garlic and onion, sauté until onion is soft
3.                   add in vegetables and sauté until cooked to your preference (I like mine warm but still having a bit of crunch)
4.                   dump in the rice, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and stir well until the rice is fully incorporated and warmed

I had this without any meat, but you could certainly add ham, chicken, turkey, shrimp or tofu to it if you want.  It’s very filling!

Chicken Enchiladas (serves 6)

3 chicken breasts, boneless/skinless
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
¼ C lime juice
¼ C olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 bell pepper, sliced somewhat thin (I use red, a matter of preference)
2 large zucchini, sliced into thin strips
1 large jar Herdez green salsa (salsa verde)
10 white corn tortillas (made sure they are GF!)
6 oz. shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 can fat free refried black beans

  1. mix together the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and oregano, add in garlic and pour over chicken breasts that have been placed in a glass bowl/baking dish, cover and marinate overnight
  2. grill or bake chicken breasts until cooked through (375 for about 30 minutes in an oven)
  3. sauté onion, zucchini and pepper in a skillet with a little bit of oil until soft and onions have slightly carmelized, remove from heat
  4. shred cooked chicken and place in a bowl with the onion/pepper mixture, add refried beans and about 1/3 C of the salsa and mix well
  5. add 1 oz of cheese and mix well
  6. char tortillas in a hot dry skillet so that they become pliable
  7. spray a baking dish with a little bit of cooking spray
  8. pour a little of the salsa in the bottom and move it around to coat
  9. fill one tortilla at a time with the chicken filling, roll and place in the dish seam side down (make these a little full or you won’t use all of the filling)
  10. once you have placed all of the enchiladas in the dish (you may have to squish a little to get them all in) pour the remainder of the salsa and cheese over the top, covering everything
  11. cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until top is browned
  12. serve with sides of chopped tomato, sour cream and/or guacamole

I hope you enjoy everything….I will let you know more about my adventures in the kitchen as I go!

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