Monday, August 11, 2014

hands of love #25...

It's been a year and a half since our last "Hands of Love," can you believe it?

These posts started, of course, when we were trying nutritional therapy to see if it might help Caroline's hairloss before we knew she simply had alopecia.  (which requires no special diet)  Crazy enough, that's also how we discovered Marc's sensitivities to gluten.

We're still cooking gluten free around here for Marc's sake.  After 3+ years, cooking gf has become old hat.

People sometimes think gluten free = healthy, and that's not necessarily the case.  You can eat just as much junk on a gluten free diet, and just because it doesn't have wheat in it doesn't mean it's going to help you feel better or lose weight like some fad dieters want to believe.   I think the key to feeling good and boosting your immune system is to eat and cook with as many REAL, whole foods that occur in their natural state and haven't been processed.

With our move downtown and traveling this summer, our family's eating has been less-than-stellar, to say the least.  My kids only seem to want carbs (as do I!), and I'm tired of it.  It was time to find some carb-free recipes (that didn't taste carb-free, you know?) that I could add into our rotation in order to increase the amount of vegetables we consume.

Here are a few worth sharing!

1.  Chicken enchilada stuffed zucchini boats.  Sound weird?  Maybe.  But instead of a tortilla, there's a zucchini to eat in its place. And though it wasn't my favorite meal of all time, it was pretty good!  Here's the recipe I used.  (save time by skipping the make-your-own-sauce part--- unless you're into that sort of thing--- and just buy the canned enchilada sauce)  

Caroline only ate the inside filling part (which also had zucchini in it!), and Jameson chowed down the whole thing.   This week I'm trying an italian stuffed zucchini boat- we'll see if that goes over any better...

If you're going to try any of these recipes, though, THIS is the one to make!!!

2.  Vietnamese Cauli-Fried Rice.  Get the recipe here.  (again, don't worry about making the extra sauce part, just make the fried rice dish)  Cauliflower fried rice, people.  That is where it's AT.  You won't even miss the carbs.

Of course I didn't tell the kids this was cauliflower and not rice.  I just served it and watched them pig out.  Caroline said between bites, "Mom, this rice is SO good!  Is it quinoa?"  

"No, it's not quinoa," I answered, pretty dang proud of myself.  "Do you want to know what it is?"

"Yeah, what is it?"

"It's actually cauliflower!" I was so giggly and beside myself, if only I had waited until after she had finished it.  

She set her fork down.  "Ewww, it's gross.  I can't eat that."  (ha ha ha!!)

 Another carb-free option we made were lettuce-wrap tacos.  I've never tried a lettuce wrap, nor have I had the desire to try one.  Gluten free people, this is where I have felt so sorry for you as I watch you roll up your hamburger patties in LETTUCE.  In my book, lettuce is NEVER to be a substitute for bread...

Maybe that was why I gave the kids the option of the lettuce wrap.  (aaaaand they opted for tortillas, of course)

But surprisingly, it wasn't too bad!, especially with a big ol' heaping of homemade guacamole dumped on top.  :)

Of course the easiest, quintessential carb-free meal is to make spaghetti and substitute the noodles for spaghetti squash noodles.  In all of these options (except for the cauliflower rice), I'd say you've gotta be pretty committed to eating healthy, because we all know there is just no comparison between the taste of a squash vs. real pasta.

An oven-baked frittata (aka crustless quiche) was a super easy carb-free lunch one day.   Here's an easy recipe that you can adapt for whatever's left in your fridge.  (I think I used chopped spinach, leftover sausage and cheese)  Serve it with a small side salad, bacon, fruit, whatever!

There you go.  Made for my sweet family with hands of love, in hopes that a few more veggies will be consumed...  hope you enjoy!

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