Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gluten-free Pizza

6 Reasons why adults like pizza too

  1. Two words.  It’s fast and easy.  Done and done.
  2. Variety.  For us non-teenage folks, we generally get bored of the same old double cheese pizza every Friday night at 2am after four Gin and Tonics and a Bacardi breezer.  Actually, I can barely make it to midnight anymore.  I don’t know about you but when I was 16 I could down 8 pieces of pizza only consisting of cheese and bread.  You can basically put anything on a pizza and it tastes delicious so as I’ve gotten older I’ve experimented more with different toppings.
  3. Miraculous taste
  4. Because it goes well with a Caesar salad and everyone likes Caesar salad.
  5. Finger food
  6. Miraculous taste

Enter the homemade pizza.

There are many different ways you can make a gluten-free pizza crust but on a particularly lazy day you can find gluten-free crust at a few different places.  My go-to place is Safeway.  They carry Udi gluten-free products such as bread, bagels, donuts, pastries etc.  One of these days I will make a crust from scratch but as far as a lazy day goes, these the Udi kind are perfect in my books.

Lately I’ve been using pesto in place of a tomato based pizza sauce.  Pesto is made up of basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and cheese.  These ingredients contain some health benefits such as minerals and vitamins, but are also high in fat so use in moderation.  I’ve been experimenting with a lot of greens on my pizzas such as spinach, broccoli, zucchini etc.  As we all know, green vegetables are nutritional powerhouses that provide enormous amounts of vitamins.

My favourite home-made pizza

-Gluten free pizza crust
-Cheese (you can also use goat cheese or feta)
-Cooked Shrimp, detailed
-Red pepper

  1. Spread a couple tablespoons of pesto on the pizza crust
  2. Place spinach flat on the pizza crust, spreading evenly to cover to crust.
  3. Cut up veggies into small pieces and distribute evenly over pizza.
  4. Spread cooked and detailed shrimp over pizza (I usually fry up my shrimp with 2 cloves of garlic).
  5. Sprinkle cheese lightly over pizza.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cheese has melted and crust has browned.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Dessert! The recipe you’ve been waiting for!!  Well, the recipe I’ve been waiting for.  Chocolate mousse cake.  Holay, yummy!  When I go to heaven, the clouds I frolic in are going to be made of chocolate.  Dark chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter chocolate, mousse chocolate, milk chocolate…oh the list goes on!

There is nothing better than chocolate.  Nothing.  A bold statement, I know.  You have a bad day, eat a chocolate bar.  You get your heart broken, eat a chocolate bar.  You get in a car accident and break your arms, legs, and all of your ribs….well, ask the nurse to get you a chocolate bar.  In my world, it’s the answer to absolutely everything. 

And wine.  Wine also fixes everything.

Quit rambling on you say! Give us this wonderful gluten free chocolate mousse cake recipe!  And I will.  But there is a catch.  The main ingredient is chickpeas! Yes, I did say chickpeas.  Chickpeas can be used as a substitute for eggs and flour in baked goods.  They do not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats, and have a high protein and fibre content.  

The best way to make this recipe is with a food processer.  But, alas, I do not own one.  So I used a blender.  As I have said in previous posts, I’m not exactly the cleanest person when it comes to cooking in baking.  But it’s always fun to watch Blaine dive for cover every time something flies through the air (I have no idea how it happens…it’s just a talent of mine I guess).

The loveliest part of this dessert is that has no added sugar – only fruit.  I will list the ingredients I made this cake with, but feel free to substitute the berries and beans for other types.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

-1 banana
-1 handful blueberries
-1 handful chickpeas
-7 Medjool dates
-3 tbsp cocoa powder
-1 large tbsp coconut oil
-1 tbsp almond butter
-Some sort of topping whether it be chocolate chips, pecans, or any other kind of nut


  1. Blend the dates with the almond butter and coconut oil until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.
  3. Poor mixture into a circular or rectangular cooking tin and sprinkle topping on top (I used dark chocolate chips…of course).
  4. Freeze and remove from freezer a few minutes before eating.
Easy as pie! Wait…easy as cake?  I think so!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

4 Things They Don't Tell You About Colonoscopy Preparation

Colonoscopy.  Even the word makes me shudder.  Not the actual colonoscopy, but the prep.  For those of you who have ever had one, you know what I’m talking about.  I see you nodding your heads furiously. 
This past spring I was booked for a Colonscopy and Gastroscopy (for those of you who don't know, a Gastroscopy is basically the same thing, except down your throat) by my GI specialist.  I sat there innocently as he told me about the procedures, not really sure what these two things entailed.  After my general appointment I went to the pharmacy to pick up the prep drinks I needed for my procedures the following month – a small bottle of laxative and 4L of colon cleanser (I kid you not, I am dry heaving as I’m writing this just thinking about the taste).

Doctors don’t tell you how to prep for the prep and innocent people are fooled daily…LOL…so here I am to help the needy. 

WARNING: If you are easily offended by talking about butts, anus, colon, and shit, this is not the post for you!

4 Things they don’t tell you about Colonoscopy preparation:

1.  The prep drinks taste like shit.  No, actually it tastes like shit, poison, 
     barf, and mucus all mixed together with the "lemon-lime" flavor it is  
     supposed to taste like.  I'm not going to sugar coat it.  It is NASTY.  
     Drink flavoured tea.  This is a big life saver here.  I made an enormous
     pot of strong flavoured tea and kept that baby close by.  Chug as much of
     the cleanser as you can and then chase it with the tea.  You are allowed
     clear liquids, and tea is one of them.

2.  Get moisturized wet wipes.  Your ass is going to feel like it’s been blow 
     torched, beaten, and rubbed raw.  You know that chant “liar liar pants on 
     fire” (with the little picture of a boy with his butt on fire)?  I have a theory
     that Colonoscopy’s are karma for all people who have ever lied.  I don’t    
     care if you feel like a baby, get the freakin wipes.  They will feel 
     like nirvana on your asshole. 
     Also, ask your doctor for some kind of cream to put on your anus.   
     Something to soothe the feeling that your anus is going to burn, shrivel, 
     and fall off.

3.  Don’t plan anything.  Put on your granny panties and the most 
     dangerously ugly t-shirt you own and get ready to relax.  And pants? 
     You don't need pants.
     Don’t do laundry, don’t have a friend over, don’t make meals for your
     family, and by all means, don’t leave your house - even for a second. 
     made the mistake of going out to my car to grab a pair of shoes (yes, I
     keep shoes in my car….who knows when a girl is going to need a teal pair
     of 4 inch stilettos??).  Yep.  Don’t do that.  I’ve never run so fast in my 
     entire life.  Into the house, through the hallway and right into the
     bathroom, where my boyfriend’s cousin was showering.  There is nothing
     better than a Colonoscopy preparation to help you get to know your
     roommates better.  If you are scared to burp, fart, shit, and piss in front
     of anyone, you better get used to it.

4.  You don’t have to drink it all.  The doctor will tell you that you have to 
     drink every last little bit of the cleanser, but this is not necessarily true.  
     As long as the liquid that is coming out is clear, you are good to go. 
     only drank about 1/3 of the cleanser when I started throwing it up.   
     At that time, everything that was coming out of my rear was clear (baha! 
     A rhyme!) so I stopped drinking the cleanser.

The actual Colonoscopy and Gastroscopy weren’t bad at all.  With the help of drugs, I don’t remember a thing.  After the procedure, and after I’d slept off the drugs for about an hour, my GI doc came to talk to me about the results.

“All clear, no sign of Crohn’s or any inflammation.”

Wait…what?????  I don’t have Crohn’s?

”No ma’am, but I did take a few biopsies so we will get back to you about the results in a few weeks.”

I didn’t want to announce on my blog that I don’t have Crohn’s until I knew exactly what was going on.  Yesterday was my appointment with my specialist to talk about the results of the biopsies.   He showed me pictures of my colon and rectum (And I have to say, it was quite wonderful looking) and showed me exactly where the camera went. 

I am all clear of Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and Colitis.  I guess I was sort of relieved, but also very confused.  How do you diagnose someone with Crohn’s (through an x-ray) and then say, “Ooops! Just kidding!”  We discussed my symptoms for awhile longer and came to the conclusion that I have IBS and am gluten intolerant. 

Nothing will be changing about my blog.  I still have bowel problems and I still don’t eat gluten.  I still struggle with the same symptoms and I still have the same results when I eat gluten or when I don’t eat gluten.  I am a huge believer in the mind blowing changes that a gluten-free diet can have and I’m still here to provide you with knowledge and recipes regarding this matter.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Holy hot batman! Oh, and chicken & string beans too

It is HOT this summer.  And I mean, hot! I’ve been sweating in places that I didn’t know I had and taking 16 showers a day (okay, maybe a bit of an exaggeration.  But if I had time, I probably would!).  I truly think someone needs to invent boob, back, and butt deoderant.  Too much information?
And what’s worse, we don’t have air conditioning.  Which means when it’s 30 degrees outside, it’s 45 degrees in our house.  We live in a little older character home with only a few windows that actually open and a sauna for a bedroom.  I’ve been spending countless evenings and nights lying on the floor or my bed covered in a towel soaked with cold water.  According to Cosmo magazine, it helps to put your underwear in the freezer and wear them to bed.  Ummm….LOL.  I would like to go on record and say that doesn’t work.
Okay okay, I know I shouldn’t be complaining.  When winter comes around I’ll be wishing for that hot summer air again.  It’s already been getting darker earlier and cooling off quite a bit in the evening.  Here’s hoping for a warm winter like the last one!
Enough about the weather.  The Saskatoon Exhibition is in town this week (basically our fair, for those of you who don’t know) and I went with a small group last night.  Four things about the Exhibition:

  • Never eat before you go on rides.  I learned this lesson a few years ago when I threw up all over myself and everyone around me.  Oh yeah, I’m not kidding.  I was that person.  We arrived late at the ex so I downed a delicious souvlaki and went on my first upside down ride ever.  I hopped on thinking I was so cool and the ride was going to rock my world.  Within 30 seconds I was nauseated as hell and within 40 seconds I was throwing up like a boss.  All over myself and all over the people around me.  Can you say hot mess??
  •  Never ride the small horse on the merry go round.  No joke, your arse will hurt like you just rode a bike for 5 hours. And if you’re a man, apparently it hurts even more.  According to the guys riding behind me, getting drunk first is the key to riding the kid’s merry-go-round – they seemed to be having the time of their lives.  Good to know for next time.
  • You cannot put lipstick on when you’re on the octopus.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  Now I know this makes me seem high maintenance but the first time I rode it, I really just wanted to see if I could do it.  I don’t recommend this.  You will come out looking like Lady Gaga gone wrong (or maybe right??...who knows)/something out of a horror film.  Again, super hot mess.
  • Watching high school girls is my favourite part of the Ex.  Seriously, I’m not trying to be mean, but it is hilarious 90% of the time.  I definitely remember being that girl who spent 2 hours getting ready to go to the Ex in high school.  The fair seems to be a large gathering of bump-its, bar makeup, and 3 inch stilettos.  And then there’s those moments you see parents walking towards their teenagers while they're with their friends.  Ha! It is a display of horrified looks and red cheeks and "don't embarrass me mom!"'s.  Oh, how I remember those times.
All in all, we had a good time. Annndddd….there was plenty of gluten free food!  Of course, none of it was exactly healthy, but there was a Mexican food truck with gluten free tacos.

This evening I decided to make one of my favourite dishes – Pistachio chicken and String beans with hazelnuts & lemon.
String Beans with Hazelnuts & Lemon
    • Green/yellow beans – preferably fresh, but can be frozen
    • Olive oil
    • Lemon zest
    • Hazelnuts
    • Salt and pepper
    1. If you have frozen beans, boil them in salted water until tender.
    2. Place about 1.5 pounds of green beans in a bowl.
    3. Mix with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1.5 tsp’s of lemon zest, 1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts, and salt and pepper.

Green vegetables are a very important food to incorporate into your meals at least once a day.  This includes green beans.  Green beans are a good stress fighting food because they consist of a high amount of anti-oxidants, as well as variety of Vitamins, including A and D.  Vitamin A is known to improve chronic fatigue and depression, while Vitamin D can help stabilize mood and irritability.  Green beans also provide healthy amounts of Iron, Magnesium, and Potassium, which are important for your metabolism. 
Yellow and green beans are also known to help prevent colon cancer.  They contain a high amount of fiber that help keep the toxins moving out of our bodies at a fast pace.  The minerals and vitamins that the beans hold also assist in keeping polyps and other cancerous growths from forming.  These beans are a super food that can also aid inflammation and digestive issues.
Pistachio Chicken
This is probably one of the easier and yummiest chicken dishes you can make.
  • Chicken breasts 
  • Pistachios 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Olive Oil

    1. If you can find pistachios that are shelled, then that’s great!  If you can’t, buy a bag of pistachios and shell them.
    2. Put the pistachios in a plastic bag and smash the hell out of them with a rolling pin.
    3. Lay the crushed pistachios out on a plate and press each side of the chicken breasts into the pistachios.
    4. Put some olive oil in a frying pan and fry each side of the chicken breasts until browned.
    5. Put the chicken breasts in the oven for about 45 minutes or until baked throughout.
Simply and delicious!
In my opinion, pistachios are the best nuts you can eat.  They have one of the lowest fat contents out of all nuts, and have many health benefits.  Pistachios are most known for their excellent heart healing skills, but are also great for eyes and the skin.  They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two carotenoids that aren’t in most nuts.  These two carotenoids have been linked to decreasing visual impairments.  Pistachios also an excellent source of vitamin C, preventing skin damage and premature aging. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Clumsiness and Quinoa

I have spent the last 5 days in Banff, Alberta.  Climbing mountains, kayaking the Bow Valley river, white water rafting, zip lining, taking walks in the cute little town.  What a life.  It was very relaxing for the most part.  And humorous as well.  At some point God decided it would be funny to make me the most accident prone person on earth. 

We go kayaking:
Camera – check.
Snacks – check.
Sunglasses – check.
Sunscreen – check.

We go hiking:
Camera – check.
Snacks – check.
Sunglasses – check.
Sunscreen – check.

We go fishing:
Camera – check.
Snacks – check.
Sunglasses – check.
Sunscreen – check.
Fishing gear – check.

Now what did I forget?  Toilet paper!! (and the probability that I will make a fool of myself using the “outdoor” bathroom)

We go kayaking:
I pull over on the side of the river and step into mud, which ends up being about a foot deep.  I can’t get my feet out and break my sandals during the process.  I finally free myself and I start to pee behind a tree.  What wonderful leaves those are beside me that I can wipe myself with.  Well, maybe not so much.  I pull the leaves off and start to wipe when I realize they have thorns all over them.  OUCH!

We go hiking:
This mountain has mosquitoes.  And I’m talking a lot of mosquitoes.  Army after army of mosquitoes.  There is not only a lot, they are also HUGE – mozzies on steroids!
I find a tree away from the main path, take a leak, and end up with 36 mosquito bites just on my ass! I am not kidding.  I have more mosquito bites on my butt than the average person gets in an entire year.

We go fishing:
Here I am whistling away when I realize I need to go.  The sun is going down so I put my sunglasses on top of my head, find a good spot behind a tree, and get ready to do my thing.  Just as I’m starting to go, my sunglasses fall off my head and I literally pee all over them.  Really attractive!!!

But yep, that’s me! All in all there was lots of adventures that were had and may good times.

And there’s nothing like a welcome home meal like Quinoa Lasagna.  Who doesn’t love lasagna (especially with a healthy twist)? 

Quinoa Lasagna

-1 cup quinoa
-1 cup tomato sauce
-1 onion
-3 garlic cloves
-1 red bell pepper
-Olive oil
-4-5 mushrooms
-1 tsp basil
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp marjoram
-2 medium tomatoes
-1 cup low fat cottage cheese
-1.5 cups skim cheese

  1. Cook quinoa in pot (as if you would do rice) and preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Saute onions, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, seasonings.
  3. Once browned, add tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Simmer until hot.
  4. Combine cottage cheese and skim cheese in a bowl
  5. In a baking dish, cover the bottom with the cooked quinoa.  Layer with the tomato mixture and then layer again with the cheese mixture.
  6. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

This is a healthy alternative to the normally fattening lasagna (but just as delicious, I promise!).

There are a zillion great health benefits to eating quinoa, but I will highlight a few:
  1. It is a great source of protein and contains all of the essential amino acids you could possibly want in one dish, with a low amount of calories.
  2. It provides health benefits to your gastrointestinal system.  It contains insoluble fiber, which helps keep you regular.  It passes through your intestinal system and assists in moving food to your colon. 
  3. It is a gluten/wheat free brain food that provides you with 15% of your daily intake of Iron, encouraging energy and brain power.
  4. Its vitamin B content helps control brain volume and stabilizes moods.
Who wouldn’t want to eat this power food?!
And don't be afraid to pair it with a yummy salad :)