Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I am a breakfast person; I can’t start my day without a hearty meal.  I am not the type that can just have coffee and a piece of (GF) toast or a piece of fruit, just not my thing.  I don’t generally like sweet breakfasts; pancakes, waffles and French toast are good, but not first thing in the morning.  So, my morning meal is usually hearty and filling.  Breakfast is my biggest meal of the day, going to bed full is not something I like to do and since I have an awful commute and I like to cook fresh I end up eating only 2-3 hours before bed.  That means I can have a little bit of it but not a whole serving, I just reserve most of mine for lunch the next day. 

I just want to make sure you understand that I love breakfast!  Some people like me will eat lunch/dinner type food at breakfast, I just can’t do that.  I still need breakfast food items.  Eggs are a big one for me; I eat them in some form pretty much every day.  Before you start with the whole cholesterol speech let me first say my total cholesterol is 102, yes that’s the total, and my HDL and LDL are exactly where they should be.  I have been eating eggs nearly every day for a couple of years and my cholesterol has never changed.  No lectures please J

Today I thought I would share some breakfast ideas that I have tried and loved.  Yay, its breakfast!

Breakfast Ideas (aka, an egg-a-palooza)

Scrambled eggs with veggies (I use a lot of different combinations depending on my mood, my favorite combo is zucchini, tomato, onion and either spinach or kale) – sauté up the veggies to soften a bit then beat a couple of eggs with an egg white and put into the pan, cook until the eggs are done to your liking.
To get some variety you can change up the veggies or add in any kind of meat, bacon, sausage, ham, and chorizo.  For those that still eat dairy, play with the different cheeses; Swiss goes great with ham, zucchini and mushroom, cheddar is good with just about anything, I have even mixed a little parmesan into the eggs before cooking, this is a good combo with oven roasted tomatoes.

Breakfast Tacos – this is a variation on the scrambled eggs with veggies, you can prepare the eggs the same way, warm up some refried beans and corn tortillas, top it all off with a fresh salsa (pico de gallo) and you have one of my favorite breakfasts.

Egg Quinoa Cups – This is good to eat right out of the oven but I like it best for make-ahead and warm up later breakfast.  These freeze really well and are very easy to make. I have a lot of different flavor versions on this recipe, you can find it here.  Let me know what you do with yours, I’m always looking for different ways to change up the flavorings. 

Hashbrown Cups – you can lightly line a muffin tin with shredded hashbrowns, drop an egg into each one and top off with some veggies or cheese.  I like to cook them to be medium and serve with a piece of GF toast, yum!

Ham and Egg Cups – a variation on the hashbrown cups, this time lining the muffin tin with thin sliced ham or prosciutto, really good stuff!

Breakfast Strata – this is something I haven’t tried yet, but I saw a recipe using Udi’s GF bread that looks wonderful, you can find a good base recipe here (check out the site while you are there too!) I plan on trying it eventually, I will be cutting it in half because we would be eating it for a week if I made a big one!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taco Pie

I love Mexican food, from the traditional to the Tex-Mex versions. I love the heat, the spices, everything about it.  I wouldn’t call it comfort food but it’s one of my go to flavor profiles when I’m cooking.  Unfortunately since I have been trying to get rid of dairy some of the flavors that I’m looking for in that type of food have changed a bit.  Though I have found with a lot of it that I’m not even missing the cheese, it’s quite a revelation.

An example of a Tex-Mex inspired recipe where I didn’t miss the cheese is what I made for dinner yesterday; a taco pie using GF cornbread as the top.  I happen to love cornbread, particularly with chili.  So I thought why not make a chili like filling and top it with cornbread…it sounded good to me!  It was really good; my husband even loved it without cheese.  Other than that I don’t have a lot to say today so I think I will just get to the recipe J

Taco Pie with Cornbread Crust
(Serves 8-10)

½ T coconut oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped medium
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef (I like 95/5 for this recipe)
Sea salt (I use a grinder and do about 3 grinds, you don’t need a lot
2 T chili powder
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chipotle chili powder (I use more, but I like spicy!)
½ tsp ground coriander
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
½ T beef base (look for a GF version)
½ C water
1 pkg. Bob’s Red Mill GF Cornbread Mix (made with coconut milk and oil)

1.      Sauté onion and zucchini over medium heat for a couple of minutes then add in the garlic, sauté for another minute
2.      Add in ground beef, salt and all of the spices, brown meat breaking it up into small pieces
3.      Add can of tomatoes, beef base and water, mix well, bring to a boil then cover and simmer 10 minutes
4.      Remove lid and let simmer another 10 minutes or until thickened
5.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees
6.      While the meat mixture is simmering prepare the cornbread according to package directions
7.      Grease a 13x9 baking dish then pour in the taco meat, spreading until even
8.      Dot the top with the cornbread mix, covering most of the surface, use a spatula to spread it out as evenly as possible
9.      Bake for 25 minutes, until bubbly and cornbread is cooked through

I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Salmon with Olive and Anchovy (no, really, it's good!)

So, I thought I would mention again that the energy is getting a little better with every day.  I did need a nap yesterday afternoon though, I suppose that when I start feeling a little better I push myself a little too much.  I need to learn patience with myself.

I finally have an appointment with another specialist, I have my fingers crossed that this is one that will actually listen.  He may just be the one to do it, my doctor mentioned in passing that he had written a book about hypothyroidism.  So, being the cyber sleuth that I am I started searching for information about him with Google.  I found information on him and located his book, I have already downloaded to my Nook!  I am excited because his bio mentions that he’s not just an endocrinologist that specializes in thyroid, he also has hypothyroidism.  He understands what it’s like to feel horrible when the lab tests that some doctors rely on say you should be fine.  It appears that he’s open to taking more than just the traditional approach.  I’m looking forward to my appointment with him, September can’t come fast enough.

I know what you are saying….where are the recipes?  That’s what I come here for, let’s get back to those.  So, here I am, getting back to the recipes.  The great thing about my energy returning is that I actually feel like cooking.  It’s hard when I’m not feeling good, I can barely get myself to work.

On to the recipe for today, I found a recipe online when I was searching around looking for tasty sounding recipes that fit my new gluten, dairy and soy free criteria.  The internet is a wonderful thing for searching for recipes!  You can find the original recipe at Elana’s Pantry (I only edited it a tiny bit!).  I love her site; it’s a great source for a lot of recipes, healthy living tips and has beautiful images, I visit often.  If you want to see the original recipe and cruise the site click here (

Salmon with Olive Anchovy and Citrus Tapenade
(adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

4 fillets Wild Salmon (approx. 4 oz. each)
Juice and zest from one lemon
Juice and zest from ½ small orange
1 T anchovies (I buy the paste in a tube, much easier)
1 T fresh rosemary, chopped finely
1 C kalamata olives, pitted and chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use a grater and just grate it, it saves on chopping time)
2 T olive oil
Sea Salt
  • Rinse the salmon and put in a baking dish big enough that the pieces aren’t touching
  • Sprinkle less than ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste over the fillets (remember, the olives are salty, don’t overdo it)
  • In a bowl mix together the zest from the lemon and orange, anchovies, rosemary, olives, garlic and olive oil
  • Spread the paste over the top of each fillet, covering the top completely
  • Cover the baking dish with plastic and marinate for 2-6 hours
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Remove plastic and bake 15-20 minutes or until salmon is done to your liking

The flavors in this dish are amazing.  Do yourself a big favor and only use wild salmon, farmed salmon doesn’t have the same taste.  I served this with grilled artichoke and roasted red potatoes.  It got two thumbs up from my husband.  I hope you like it as much as we did!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Thyroid Issues and Education

During the past week I have had a lot of trouble getting in to post in my blog. I’m so glad to be back in, I have things to tell you about!

A quick update first.  I had another problem with my thyroid, I was absolutely miserable.  The bad thing about it is that it doesn’t hit fast, it comes gradually so you don’t really notice it until it’s completely taken over.  I was cold all the time (my poor husband had to deal with me always wanting to push the temperature on the a/c up because I was freezing – I finally just resorted to wearing sweats and wool socks in the house).  I was completely exhausted no matter how much sleep I got and so achy I didn’t want to move (which we all know makes it worse).  I finally recognized what was happening and immediately scheduled a doctor appointment.  I also started doing research, I’m so tired of just throwing another pill at what’s going on, I need information.  I need to know what's causing the problem, I need to have some things I can do proactively to keep it from happening again.  With that said, the doctor did give me another pill, but I think this may be a good one.  It’s a synthetic T3, which may have been my problem this time around.  I say that because since Sunday my energy level seems to be coming back and my achiness has decreased (I started taking it last Thursday).

Things I have learned….while I have eliminated gluten it may be that I will need to eliminate other foods.  Soy and dairy are my first targets, and they have been quite difficult to remove.  Dairy has been a little easier, I have replaced the creamer in my morning coffee with a creamer that is made from coconut milk, the cheese in certain things has gone away.  I have to admit, there is a little dairy in the premade baking mix I use, but that will be replaced soon by my own homemade baking mix.  Soy has been a little more difficult because it seems to be in a lot of the premade gluten free items at the store.  Insert big sigh here, that means I have to make everything I eat, I like to cook but really?

An attitude adjustment is in process right now.  I’m focusing on what I can eat versus what I can’t.  I’m looking into Paleo eating, though I’m not entirely convinced about it but I’m continuing researching it.  I do believe that food plays a large part in what is happening to my body so I’m paying even more attention to what I put in my mouth.

Oh, I also wanted to share a couple of Facebook groups that have helped me with information; Hashimoto’s 411 and Thyroid Sexy (when you are logged in to FB just look them up, there is a ton of good information in both groups).  The Thyroid Sexy group has a lot of resources in the “Notes” section, make sure you look there for a lot of good information.

What does that mean for my blog?  It won’t be changing much other than you will see more recipes without dairy and soy in them.  I will start posting those recipes again later this week, I'm still getting my bearings :)

Continuing on the journey to health…I'm so glad you are along for the ride!