A great big welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I hope you enjoy the recipes and ramblings. For the story behind this site read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Check out my recently released cookbook

 


 

 

 

Sunday
Jul062014

Moisturizing Body Oil Recipe

Summer is heating up and the effects of the sun, chlorine and pesky mosquitoes may be taking a toll on your skin. In the current issue of Simply Gluten Free Magazine you'll find five of my favorite diy skin care recipes—including one for body oil which I am sharing today!

Admittedly, it took me a while to wean myself off of products containing endocrine-disrupting phthalates, corrosive phenols and a bunch of other junk. Yes, these products delivered and they were all I knew—but yikes, when I learned how toxic they were, I did a 180!

The skin is the largest organ of the body, capable of absorbing whatever is applied to it—toxic or not. Today my skin care philosophy is simply; avoid putting on my skin anything that I wouldn't eat. Afterall, most of what you put on your skin ends up inside your body!

Though I make a lot of my on skin care products, there are two that I DO purchase and love. They are the Lovely Lady Products Facial Cleansing Bar and the Lovely Lady Products Immortelle Facial Nutrient (oil-based moisturizer). This skin care line rocks! It is no-fuss, simple and is certified gluten-free, vegan, waterless and USDA Organic. I buy mine at Whole Foods (select regions), Natural Grocers (select regions) and online at Lovely Lady Products.

Body Oil Recipe

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons fractionated coconut oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon castor oil
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
8 drops of essential oil of choice (I love 3 geranium + 3 Roman chamomile + 2 lavender)

Directions:

Add ingredients to a 4-ounce plastic bottle. Shake well. Apply before stepping out of the shower while skin is still wet. Pat dry.

For the following recipes, pick up the current issue of Simply Gluten Free Magazine before it's gone. 

  • A deodorant that actually works!
  • An exfoliating coffee scrub
  • A calming body mist
  • A non-toxic bug repellant

I hope you like them!

Monday
Jun162014

PureLean® Mango Madness Smoothie

 

Sometimes the body needs a little nutritional boost. Signs that I need extra calcium and magnesium are fatigue, tight traps and a nervous, restless feeling. When I feel completely exhausted it's time for adrenal support. Nutritional supplements can be powerful and I use them on an as-needed basis—listening carefully to what my body is asking for.

When I do supplement, one brand I use is Pure Encapsulations. Hypo-allergenic supplements (which this brand is) are necessary for my Little Man. He takes Pure Encapsulations' Acetyl-L-Carnitine. As for me, the last few weeks have been a wee bit stressful and so I have been supplementing my smoothies with a Pure Encapsulations PureLean® Protein Blend.

I am super picky about protein powders and this is why I like PureLean®:

  • One scoop gives me 15 grams vegetarian protein (from a rice, pea and chia seed).
  • Includes an antioxidant blend of acerola, camu camu, quercetin, açai, mangosteen and green coffee concentrate.
  • Offers a vitamin and minerals boost that's balanced for optimal absorption and metabolism.
  • It comes in two flavors; vanilla and chocolate!

This month Pure Encapsulations reached out and asked me to create a smoothie recipe using my favorite PureLean® Protein Blend Vanilla Bean Flavor with Stevia in exchange for a product sample and the chance to win a VitaMix blender. Of course I was game and knew that I had to bring out the big guns—lovely spaghetti squash.

Yep, cooked spaghetti squash is one of my secret smoothie ingredients. This wonder adds bulk to my smoothies without adding a lot of calories. I use it in this PureLean® Mango Madness Smoothie as well as in my Squashberry Smoothie. Once a week I will cook up two or three spaghetti squash. Half I serve for dinner topped with bolognese sauce and the other half I freeze, smashed flat, in a zip top bag for smoothies. The beauty of using this squash in smoothies is that it's neutral in color so blends well with reds, greens, and of course oranges!

If you're not keen on stevia, other varieties of PureLean are sweetened with evaporated cane sugar.

PureLean® Mango Madness Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
1 cup cooked spaghetti squash (my favorite cooking method)
1 cup nondairy milk of choice
1/4 cup orange juice
1 scoop PureLean® Protein Blend Vanilla Bean Flavor with Stevia
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Add all ingredients to the container of a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth.
  2. If using fresh mango and unfrozen squash, add 2 cups of ice for added frostiness!
  3. Serves one.
Sunday
Jun152014

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash—Perfectly!

This summer our family has joined together to support Little Man and the diet he's on. The diet du jour is Dr. Shauna Young's Spectrum Balance Protocol diet and we're hoping it will restore balance to some vitamins and minerals that are a little out of whack.

The SBP diet is very basic and includes high iron, low manganese, and low phytate foods. Winter squash is on the "OK" list so we've been eating LOTS of it.

I have learned that most varieties of winter squash are forgiving in their cooking times. Spaghetti squash is not. You really want it al dente—with a little crunch. Overcook it and it turns to an unappetizing state of mush that I refuse to eat.

After much trial and error, here is the most surefire way I have found to cook spaghetti squash to perfection. Enjoy it with a scoop of chili or bolognese.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

  1. When selecting winter squash pick out one that's heavy for its size.
  2. Carefully cut the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. An ice cream scoop is handy for this job.
  3. Sprinkle with a little sea salt (optional) and place face down on a lightly greased baking sheet (I use a high heat oil like avocado).
  4. Bake in a 375˚F oven for 35-40 minutes—or just until the flesh of the squash begins to soften. A good test; stick a fork through the skin and it should be firm but penetrable.
  5. Allow the squash to cool enough to handle then gently "shred" the flesh using a fork and scoop out into a serving bowl.
  6. Use or freeze (flattened) in zip top bag.
Sunday
Jun082014

Broiled Grapefruit

I hope your summer is off to a beautiful start. I am loving having my boys home and sitting poolside watching them learn to swim—such an important skill. I was shocked to read that a recent Red Cross survey found that half of Americans can't swim well enough to get out of a body of water if they find themselves in over their head. Yikes! It's never to late to learn.

Aside from learning to swim, this summer will be devoted to new therapies and diet changes. For the next three months we're adhering to Dr. Shauna Young's Spectrum Balance Protocol Diet (think beyond Paleo) to address little man's high manganese/low iron ratio. In July we're headed to Boulder for most of the month to give Mary Bolles' Sensory Learning Program a go (thank you Liz for suggesting it). All pretty fascinating stuff. Will it work? We will see. All I know is that what these women preach makes sense to me. I promise to give you the full report at the end of it all. If you have tried the Spectrum Balance Protocol Diet or the Sensory Learning Program, I would love to hear what your experience was.  

Now on to the food. Up for sharing today is broiled grapefruit. Grapefruit season is quickly coming to a close so there's no time like the present to get your fill. The other day I prepared it for the boys the way my mom used to make it for us kids—sprinkled with a bit of sugar and broiled. Why broil? The broiling caramelizes the sugar in the fruit, and the sugar you sprinkle on, and tones down the acidity a bit. Warm, juicy and oh so good!

Broiled Grapefuit
Spectrum Balance Protocol (SBP) Diet Approved

Ingredients: 

2 grapefruits
Brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler to low.
  2. Cut each grapefruit in half crosswise. Trim a thin slice off the bottom of each half so they will stand upright.
  3. With a sharp paring or grapefruit knife, cut along sides of each segment and then between the fruit and the peel to free segments from the membrane. 
  4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon brown sugar over each half.
  5. Place on a baking sheet and broil 2-5 minutes or until sugar begins to bubble and caramelize.
  6. Serves 4.

Notes:

Sugar may be omitted all together. Use coconut sugar if preferred and not on the SBP diet.

Friday
May232014

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Grilling Recipes

Looking for some inspiration for this weekend's cookout? Here are a few of my favorites. The jalapeno poppers—oh my! They are a must try. Have a great weekend everyone! May we all remember.