Welcome to Lexie's Kitchen & Living. I'm glad you stopped by and hope you enjoy the five years of recipes and ramblings collected here.

The inspiration for this site was my son. To learn about our journey to restore his intestinal and neurological health read here

Follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free diet? Take a peek at my cookbook.  

 

 

 


 

  

 

Wednesday
Nov122014

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Put on your scarf and snow bibs. It's cold outside! It didn't get above 9˚F today and it's heading to -11˚ tonight here in Colorado. On days like this I wonder how many searches for "soup recipes" Google is getting! I found one for a tasty looking minestrone, but the kids nixed that one (sigh). The majority vote was for this allergy-friendly Chicken Noodle Soup. I love it because it's fast and easy. Using the meat from a rotisserie chicken saves me time, too. And don't let the addition of the pureed zucchini scare you—it is very neutral in flavor and adds a bit of fiber and creaminess. If you like the recipe, you will find it—are more like it—in my cookbook Everyday Classics: 68 Tasty & Essential Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free and Soy-Free Recipes.

Gluten-Free Allergy-Friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use avocado)
1 cup peeled and chopped zucchini
1/4 medium onion, chopped
4 cups water, divided
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8  teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
1 bay leaf
Pinch ground turmeric, optional for color
2 cups uncooked gluten-free pasta or 1 cup uncooked rice
3 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken

Directions:

  1. In large pot, sauté zucchini and onion in oil over medium heat until tender.
  2. Transfer zucchini mixture to the container of a blender along with 2 cups water. Cover and purée.
  3. Add purée back to pot along with remaining 2 cups water, chicken broth, carrots, celery, granulated onion, salt, poultry seasoning, white pepper, hot sauce, bay leaf, turmeric, and uncooked pasta. 
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook just until pasta is al dente or rice is tender—taking care not to overcook.
  5. Add chicken and stir to combine. Heat through and salt to taste.
Saturday
Nov012014

Breaking Autism's Barriers

 

I was staring out the kitchen window early yesterday morning. The sun had just begun to light up the foothills when I heard the whisper, "I prepared you for this from very early on."

Thoughts of my son and the journey we've been on were swirling in my head. "I prepared you for this from very early on." Indeed, He had.

When I was 10, my mom would take me along to visit a neighbor. This neighbor had an an adult daughter with Down syndrome. She was very close to my age intellectually and socially. I remember the awkwardness of the first visit. I had never been around an adult that was so childlike. I wasn't sure what to make of it. I remember just going with it, listening to her stories and enjoying our time playing Barbies.

In college I volunteered with the Oregon Special Olympics. One brilliant winter day we loaded a bus full of enthusiastic cross country skiers and made the two-hour drive to Mount Hood. I was partnered with a young man named Joel. He, too, had Down syndrome. Neither of us had cross country experience, but we clipped into those skis like pros and off we went. Halfway around the meadow, Joel declared that he had to go pee and proceeded to pull down his pants. I remember that slow motion cry, "noooooo, Joooooel, not heeeeere!" Poles flailing, I scrambled my way over to help him with his pants. But I was too late. A full moon had risen before my eyes and the eyes of oncoming skiers. As Joel relieved himself, I smiled. I relished in the humor of it all. Who cared. Standing before me was innocence, pure innocence—and it was a beautiful thing. And talk about joy! On the ride home, that fogged up bus was bursting with a joy and happiness I had never witnessed. 

In September our boys' school held a back-to-school potluck. I was having a real nice conversation with another mother at a picnic table when out of the corner of my I caught little man (now 7) dropping his pants to his ankles. Usually not a problem. But when you're peeing in the midst of 10 other kids—yep, slight problem! My husband flew in from out of nowhere with that same slow motion "nooooooooo...."

I was beside myself then, but am laughing now. Pure innocence.

"I prepared you for this from very early on."

Most of the parents of special needs children I have crossed paths with over the years have been the most exceptional people I have ever met. They have been advocates, warriors and harbors of love for their children. They have been selfless, determined and compassionate. Some of them have even outlived their children. These parents possess a grace and strength that is not of this world.

This summer I met Malva Tarasewicz—one such parent. Our sons were in Sensory Learning Therapy at the same time. We made small talk for a bit, but as moms like us do, we quickly cut to the chase and shared our laundry lists of "what's worked, what hasn't" in regard to healing our boys.

Malva's son, Benjamin, was diagnosed early on with Autism. He is 18 now and quite an amazing young man. Looking at Malva and Benjamin together, you sense they have been a team for a very long time. Malva has taken the job of working with Benjamin very seriously and her attention and commitment have paid off.

Benjamin is close to graduating from high school. He has grown into a talented public speaker, autism advocate, actor and musician. And though some facets of life may always be a bit more challenging for Benjamin, his story is a beautiful one of recovery—see for yourself in this news interview.

If you need some serious inspiration and a plethora of ideas for drawing your autistic child out, you need to get your hands on a copy of Benjamin's story, Benjamin Breaking Barriers: Autism—A Journey of Hope. You can follow Malva and Benjamin here.

Pulling from her journals and the depths of her heart, Malva wrote this book to encourage and inspire parents of children with autism. This book is a compilation of practical ideas and firsthand experience.

Temple Grandin said about the book, “I really liked the way Benjamin was ‘stretched’ by his mother to achieve new things. Too many kids on the autism spectrum are over protected. Fixations were directed into creative, useful activities.” Amen, Temple!

 

  

 

Monday
Oct272014

Tangerine Pumpkins & Banana Ghosts

Thankfully the school my boys are in this year has a strict "No Food" policy (aside from home lunch). I could barely contain my relief when the announcement was made at the first open house.

At the schools the boys have attended in the the past, the "food and treat" thing was a huge hassle. Teachers rewarded with candy, Fridays were food craft day, and then there were the birthday celebrations. You parents of kids with food allergies relate and get it, I know.

I always had a bone to pick with the [in my stern voice] "no homemade treats may be brought into the classroom" policy. Sheesh! I remember getting my hands slapped for bringing in these banana and tangerine snacks because I had "peeled the fruit with my own bare hands!"

To a point I get it. We all want our kids' food prepared sanitarily and such, but I think someone picking their nose before peeling a banana that my kid would eventually eat would still be A LOT healthier than the storebought, crapola, fake frosting cupcakes that made their way into the classroom.

Okay, rant over.

Time to zen out! Did I tell you I my hormones have gone all whacky?

Ahhh, anyway ... last Halloween I found this fruity idea on Pinterest and was enamoured. A big thanks to the creative mom who engineered them. If you're scrambling for a healthier Halloween treat idea, give this one a go!

Tangerine Pumpkins & Banana Ghosts

Ingredients:

Tangerines or Cuties, peeled
Celery, cut into small sticks
Bananas, peeled and cut in half
Mini chocolate chips (I like Enjoy Life™)

Directions:

  1. Stick celery into tops of tangerines.
  2. Stick chocolate chips into bananas.
  3. Now wasn't that easy!

And From Halloweens Past ...

Here are a few other ideas from the archives for allergy-free, healthier Halloween fun!

Banana Mummies

Monster Rice Cereal Treats (from www.forkandbeans.com)—tons of fun ideas there.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut-Free Buttercream Frosting

 

Saturday
Sep272014

Food For Life Sprouted Gluten Free Bread

Back in the day we I ate a lot of Ezekiel Bread.

When we removed gluten from Little Man's diet, the family jumped on board in support. 

That was seven years ago—when store-bought gluten-free bread was pretty much nonexistent. Thankfully a few bakeries stepped up to deliver, albeit, high starch replacements, but an Ezekiel-like loaf was nowhere to be found.

This week the nice people at Food For Life Baking Company—the makers of Ezekiel Bread—had me kicking up my heels. They had delivered a box full of their new gluten-free, vegan, sprouted grain bread to try. It was happy dance time as I ate a piece of it toasted and topped with buttery spread and homemade raspberry jam. My oh my!

The crazy part?

Gluten-free bread baking can be challenging enough, then add to that baking without the binding power of eggs. Not easy. Well lemme tell ya, Food For Life Baking Company has nailed it with a 100% (certified) gluten-free AND VEGAN bread that is hearty, wholesome and nearly whole wheat like!

Of the Food For Life's Sprouted For Life™ Gluten-Free BreadsOriginal and Cinnamon Raisin were our favorite. They held together well and even could be enjoyed warmed up in the microwave—but toasted was best!

This new bread line comes in four varieties (they are so new, they aren't even up on the Food For Life website at time of writing) and is made from ingredients like sprouted quinoa, sprouted millet and chia seeds.

BUYER BEWARE: Food For Life makes similar breads in gluten-FULL varieties, please be diligent in purchasing only Food For Life breads that are clearly marked "Gluten-Free."

 

Food For Life's Sprouted For Life™ Gluten-Free Breads will be hitting most major U.S. markets by the end of the year, so keep your eyes peeled in the gluten-free freezer section. They are a must try!

Tuesday
Sep162014

Big Favor

Hi all! Have you seen or own a copy of the cookbook Everyday Classics?

How many stars would you give it? 

I would be grateful, beyond words, for even a short and sweet review on Amazon.

A HUGE thanks to those who have already left one!!

Here are the Chicken Pot Pie Filling and Pie Crust recipes from the book. Don't want to bother with the pie crust? The filling is tasty over rice!