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.  

 

 

 


 

 

 

Monday
Apr162012

Easy No-Cook, Grain-Free Breakfast Porridge 

Photo courtesy of Diet Dessert and Dogs.

This week I was hoping to post a new yogurt recipe that's been in the works. Alas, sigh ... I ran out of a key ingredient in the final test round.

So thank you, Ricki Heller, for coming to my rescue and sharing a fabulous recipe for a no-cook, gluten-free, grain-free porridge. I have been making this regularly for months now—so good, and the kids love it, too!

Ricki is a whole foods chef, recipe developer and writer. Her blog, Diet, Dessert and Dogsfeatures stories about anti-candida living with over 600 whole-foods recipes free of wheat, dairy, eggs or refined sugars—plus regular commentary from her two adorable dogs. Her cookbook, Sweet Freedom, is the only Canadian book recommended by Ellen DeGeneres on her website. Ricki lives just outside of Toronto with her husband and two “girls.”

Ricki and I share similar tastes and it's a sure bet that I will always find a great recipe on her site that fits my criteria. She was a lifesaver during our time on the Anti-Candida diet—and still is! If that is a realm you are venturing into, you will want to bookmark Diet, Dessert and Dogs right now.

In addition to the many recipes you'll find on her website and her hardcover cookbook, Sweet Freedom, Ricki has published three e-cookbooks, all of which are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, egg-free and dairy-free, with many grain-free options, too! Support a blogger ... order yours today:

Anti-Candida Feast Ebook

Desserts without Compromise Ebook

Good Morning! Breakfast Ebook

 

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Guest Post: Breakfast Porridge by Ricki Heller

One of my favorite childhood comfort foods is oatmeal. I mean, who among us has never tasted a big bowl of steaming, thick and sludgy oatmeal? Add a splash of milk and a sprinkling of brown sugar, perhaps an additional scattering of raisins, and you’ve got a hearty breakfast enjoyed by hoards of children the world over.

I do still love my oatmeal, but these days, I often opt for the grain-free kind. That’s right: following a grain-free diet does not mean you have to forfeit that bowl of rich, creamy morning goodness! This recipe for almost-instant, nut-and-seed based porridge is so much like “the real thing” that you could even fool your family (but you want to let them in on the secret so they can appreciate all the amazing nutritional value in this cereal—and compliment you on your culinary sorcery!). And the beauty of this breakfast is that it doesn’t have to cook on the stovetop the way true oatmeal does.

Feel free to top your cereal with berries or other chopped fruit, raisins, or toppings of your choice; this recipe is very versatile.  However you prepare it, you’ll be guaranteed a full serving of pure winter comfort in a bowl.

Easy No-Cook, Grain-Free Breakfast Porridge

This porridge is quick and easy, and infinitely variable: use sunflower or hemp instead of the pumpkin seeds; substitute another favorite nut instead of the walnuts; include the coconut or omit it, as you wish. It is suitable for all stages of the Anti-Candida Diet.

To tempt you and show you how chock-full of goodness this porridge is, here are the ingredients you will need. For the complete recipe, click here and you will be redirected to the original recipe over at Diet Dessert and Dogs.

Ingredients:

Unsweetened Coconut Flakes or Shreds
Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Raw Flax Seeds
Chia Seeds
Raw Walnuts
Cinnamon
Hot Water
Vanilla Liquid Stevia or Coconut Sugar
Coconut or Nut milk
Fresh Berries or Dried Apricots

Directions:

For measurements and directions, visit Diet Dessert and Dogs.

Note:

You can make a large batch of this cereal in advance and store it in single servings in the freezer so it's ready to go when you need it: defrost overnight in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Tuesday
Apr102012

Raw Cultured Cashew "Cheese"

Feeling adventurous? How about fermenting some Raw Cultured Cashew "Cheese"? It's so easy!

Where is Alton Brown when we need him?

If I could, I would sit down with that man and pick his brain about cultures. And I don't mean cultures in the anthropological sense, but rather those ubiquitous one-celled organisms we call bacteria—the stuff that makes cheese (and feet) stinky and yogurt tart.

Recently, I've been working on another yogurt recipe (to come next week!), but in the interim have dabbled in the making of cultured nut "cheese." I used a recipe from Carmella Soleil that I found in her book Deliciously Raw: Easy Recipes for the Omni Blender. The book accompanied my high-powered Omni Blender which BTW really busted a move on this here cashew cheese. Just look at the smooth texture! 

 

All You Need to Make This Cheese

Carmella also blogs over at The Sunny Raw Kitchen. A very similar recipe to the one in her book can be found there. All that's required to make this cheese is:

  • Raw Cashew Nuts or Macadamia Nuts
  • Water
  • Allergen-Free Probiotic Capsules 
  • Cheesecloth

The recipe can be found here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Carmella's recipe online calls for rejuvelac. Further on down in her notes she mentions that water can be used in place of rejuevelac. Rejuvelac is a general term for a fermented liquid purported to improve digestion of food. It is commonly prepared using whole wheat, rye, quinoa, oats, barley, millet, buckwheat, rice and other grains. If you are gluten-free, stick with using water for this recipe and/or use rejuvelac made from a certified gluten-free grains. I just used water. Easier peasier.

Once cultured, you can enjoy your "cheese" as is or mix in herbs, spices, salt—whatever you want! There's a world of possibilities. I think I stuck to thyme and dill and threw in some salt and nutritional yeast. Voila, spreadible, edible cheese. Next go-round I'm thinking pepper jack!

The Million Dollar Question

"So, how does it taste?!"

Well, quite like cheese actually—like cream cheese or that Alouette stuff. Kinda blew my mind. My husband approved. I took a batch to a barbecue last week and even our friends liked it. 

For the probiotic I recommend Ther-Biotic® Complete by Klaire Labs. I am checking around for a non-dairy cheese culture to experiment with next time—don't even know if one exists ... do you? I'll let you know what I find. The culturing time depends on how warm your house is and how "ripe" you like your cheese. I opted for a milder cheese.

Another Recipe to Try

Here's another recipe that comes by way of The Urban Poser. I have not tried it but it looks divine! I mean doesn't the name say it all? White Wine Pecan Cashew Cheese Ball!

Happy cheese making!

Sunday
Apr082012

KitchenAid Giveaway & Month Full 'O Recipes

Tess, The Blender Girl at Healthy Blender Recipes is hosting a great event this month. Not only is she giving away a KitchenAid mixer (hey! I don't even have one of those!), but every day this month she is featuring recipes that can be made with a KitchenAid mixer (okay, I better get one!). The recipes come from a great list of gluten-free bloggers.

To enter the giveaway, sign up for Tess’s weekly mailing, enter, and share with your friends for more chances to win.

Today Tess is featuring one of my oldie but goodies—Lexie's Scones—using Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour.

Enjoy the rest of the event! Here are the other participating bloggers:

Becky Ross from The Freedom Chef
Hallie Klecker from Daily Bites
Carol Fenster from Carol Fenster Cooks
Kelly Courson from Celiac Chicks
Elizabeth Kaplan from The Pure Pantry
Valentina Kenny from Cooking On The Weekends
Sarah M Boudreau-Romano from The Allergist Mom
Lexie Croft from Lexie’s Kitchen
Alisa Fleming from Alisa Cooks (Go Dairy Free)
Ricki Heller from Diet, Dessert and Dogs
Colette Martin from Learning To Eat Allergy Free
Lisa Cantkier from Gluten Free Find
Cybele Pascal from Cybele Pascal – The Allergy-Friendly Cook
Beth Hillson from Gluten-Free Makeovers
Karen Morgan from BlackBird Bakery
Alta Mantsch from Tasty Eats At Home
Maggie Savage from She Let Then Eat Cake
Amie Valpone from The Healthy Apple
Patrice Pollack from A Health Foodie
Jeanine Friesenfrom from The Baking Beauties
Carla Spacher from Gluten Free Recipe Box
Carrie Forbes from Ginger Lemon Girl
Heather from Gluten Free Cat
Kim Lutz from Welcoming Kitchen
Amy Green from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free
Lisa Natcharian from Allergy Free Vintage Cookery
Jennifer Ward from Be Free Bakers
Megan Lust from The Gluten Free Vegan
Kalinda Piper from Wheat Free Meat Free
Jennifer Cafferty from Gluten Free Life with Jen
Silvana Nardone from Silvana’s Kitchen

Friday
Apr062012

Limit Sugar for Good Health

Sugar lurks everywhere, even in that innocent orange.Welcome back Certified Nutrition Consultant, and Autism Diet Specialist, Julie Matthews! Today Julie is here to share her thoughts on sugar. 

Julie Matthews | Guest Post 4
Limit Sugar for Good Health 

Most nutritionists recommend avoiding sugar in the diet—and applying this basic notion to autism makes sense. Not only is excessive sugar a problem in conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity, sugar affects many of the systems frequently weak in autism, therefore negatively affecting symptoms and biochemistry for people with autism.

Sugar—Especially Problematic for Children with Autism

Sugar depresses the immune system and contributes to inflammation—two areas where those with autism are often deficient and in need of support. Sugar also feeds Candida, a type of yeast, common in autism. For children with autism, this combination can be particularly problematic. In this case, sugar depresses the immune system, contributes to further inflammation in the gut, and feeds Candida. Those with autism also benefit from a diet low in sugar as it supports balanced blood sugar. All of these imbalances affect the health and behavior of children with autism.

A Good Rule of Thumb

A good rule of thumb is to keep servings of sugary foods to a minimum or to avoid them all together. One teaspoon of granulated sugar has 4 grams of sugar. One tablespoon of ketchup has a teaspoon of sugar—that means it’s 1/3 sugar! When sugar is concentrated, such as in fruit juice, you are getting a lot more sugar than you’d get from eating fruit (about 4 pieces of fruit in one bottle) with no fiber to balance it out.

I suggest limiting sugar to one teaspoon of sugar per serving or about 4 grams, and minimizing sweet treats all together. Here are some surprising sources of and amounts of sugar:

  • Fruit juice (12 oz), 35 grams of sugar
  • Gluten-free muffin, 20-40 grams of sugar
  • 1 cup gluten-free cereal with non-dairy milk, 18 grams of sugar
  • 1 cup rice milk, 14 grams of sugar
  • GF Cookie, 15 grams of sugar
  • Fruit leather, 8 grams of sugar
  • Yogurt, 19 grams of sugar
  • ¼ cup raisins, 29 grams of sugar
  • ½ cup non-dairy ice cream, 15-20 grams of sugar

Being aware of the sources of sugar will help you choose wisely. Focus on feeding your child a well-balanced diet with minimal sugar. It’s well worth the effort, as it will support your child’s health for a lifetime.

Giveaway!

Julie has written one of the most comprehensive books on autism and diet. Nourishing Hope for Autism is an indispensible handbook and one that I refer to often. You may purchase a copy here and/or enter to win one!

To Enter: Leave a comment at the end of this post by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Sunday, April 15.

Julie's Other Guest Posts

Julie Matthews | Guest Post 1: Nourshing Hope for Autism
Julie Matthews | Guest Post 2: Food Matters for Autism
Julie Matthews | Guest Post 3: Food Allergies, Sensitivities and Autism

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Julie Matthews is a Certified Nutrition Consultant specializing in autism spectrum disorder for ten years. Her award winning book, Nourishing Hope for Autism, is based in scientific research and an understanding of the biochemistry of ASDs and the role of food, nutrition, and diet to aid digestive health, systemic healing, and relieve symptoms of autism. Julie presents at the leading biomedical autism conferences in the US and abroad, writes for autism publications, and has a private nutrition practice in San Francisco, California. Julie is available for long-distance consults via Skype. Learn more, visit NourishingHope.com

Julie can also be found on YouTube!

Monday
Apr022012

Making the Switch: Nick's Story

Hey everyone! Meet my brother, Nick.

Nick — CH-46 Crew ChiefFresh out of high school Nick signed on with the U.S. Marines. Five honorable years later, he has traded in his flight suit and helicopter for sweats and a mountain bike and attends Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado. 

I remember visiting Nick on base and sizing up the "kitchen" in his "cozy" barrack—it was the bathroom sink, a fridge, and a microwave. Not the most conducive set-up for healthy eating. He ate his share of take-out pizza and frozen dinners. And of course I worried.

But let me tell you, I have nothing to worry about now.

Early his freshman year, Nick declared Agricultural Business as his major. I really think that this course of study—the classes and the people he has surrounded himself with—have shaped him in a big way. On Sunday afternoons he volunteers with an organization in Ft. Collins that plants gardens in residential yards. The bounty goes to local food banks. He is learning literal and figurative lessons in sowing and reaping. And there's nothing like getting your hands in the dirt and growing your own food to make you conscious of what food is and what it isn't. 

I am so impressed with the choices my brother has made. His interest in his health and well-being make him smart and cool!

A couple of months ago Nick and I got to talking about green smoothies. I told him I had a great blender he could test drive.

I think that was the beginning of his green smoothie addiction.

When I went to borrow that OmniBlend blender back while my Blendtec was being repaired, I practically had to pry it out of his hands. In preparation for my taking it away, he and his roommate had blended up—no jokethree gallons of green smoothies for the week ahead. My stomach lurched, but I was proud. Thankfully Blendtec made a quick turnaround and the buys got their blender back!

Here's what Nick has to say about his green smoothies:

"Kale, spinach, carrots, almonds, banana, strawberries, mango, peaches, protein powder, flax seed. It all combines into a smoothie that tastes delicious and keeps me full past midday. Having a powerful blender really allows for making a great smoothie, there is no comparison to cheap under-powered blenders that strain to blend frozen fruit. By substituting a smoothie for a meal each day (usually breakfast) I physically feel much healthier. The nutrients provided by the green super food kale along with the spinach give a mental boost as well. Almonds and the protein powder fuel me. The fruit takes a backseat to the green veggies and serve mainly to smooth out the flavor."

Impressive, right!

Given the right tools, a high-powered blender being one, I'm convinced that anyone can eat right on a budget and even in tight quarters. I think an OmniBlend or a Blendtec would be a dynamite graduation gift (and that season is fast approaching), don't you? Talk about an investment in one's future, in one's health!

Snap shots from my brother. Here's what goes into his morning green smoothie.

I am an affiliate for OmniBlend. By ordering here, you are supporting Lexie's Kitchen. For my blender review, click here. Thanks!

Navigating College Life Gluten-Free

I'll leave you with another college student who is taking control of her health and diet away from home—and happens to be a star athlete and gluten-free. Read more about Shelby Kaho and how she navigates gluten-free living while away at school:

Dorm Survival Guide for Students with Food Allergies and Sensitivities by Shelby Kaho
Gluten-Free Dorm Room Survival Tips by Shelby Kaho
Gluten-Free in College Blog Series

Shelby blogs at One Hurdle at a Time

Shelby Kaho. Photo by: Drew Casey and Kim Johnson/Wabash College

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Making the Switch, spotlights everyday people journeying on to better health and well-being by choosing pure food over processed. For some, it has been gradual. For others it was a complete about-face. 

Putting the modified diet focus of this blog aside, Making the Switch is open to all. The point being to bring personal stories to light that encourage young and old to get back into the kitchen to cook real food. As Jamie Oliver puts it, “make only a few small changes and magical things will happen.” Whether it’s weight loss, improvements in a child's behavior or the regaining of health, magical things will happen.

WHAT'S YOUR STORY? Be featured on Making the SwitchClick here and drop me a line telling me a little about yourself. Someone is waiting to be inspired by YOU!

OTHERS WHO HAVE MADE THE SWITCH

Nick's Story
Sherri's Story

Sarah's Story

Christy's Story
Shelly's Story
Moriah's Story
Stacy's Story

Kimberlyn's Story
Jen's Story
Seek's Story
Angie's Story
Lisa's Story
Cheryl's Story