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

 

 

 


 

 

 

Monday
May232011

Book Review: Everyday Paleo

I made this super-easy Karina's Sausage Hash from the new cookbook "Everday Paleo." Made it with four ingredients and it only took me 15 minutes!

Okay gang, I'm back. Still reeling from a rather stressful month, but am back—well kind of.

So last night I sat in the local emergency room for five hours, observed a few things and had a long, overdue chat with myself. It seems three years worth of stress finally caught up with me in the form of chest pain. It had been going on a week and I finally decided I'd better get checked out.

The talk I had with myself went like this "let things go, stop trying to control everything, worrying is not getting you anywhere (but the ER!), find joy and laughter in everyday things, have compassion toward others, love the soul and focus less on the human faults."

Then there were the observations. First, I marvelled at how the emergency staff was able to provide compassionate care yet not get emotionally wrapped up in every case that walked through the door. A big lesson for me. They helped as they could, did the best they could, were kind and comforting, but did not crack under the pressure. The second observation was the number of sick and wounded that came in. Miscarriages, car accidents, migraines, chest pain, illness, wounds, young and old. That's when I thought to myself that into every life the unexpected comes. Trials and heartbreak. No one is spared. I can go on about the stress in my life, but it doesn't make me special, we all have it. What I need to turn my attention to is how I react and respond to the annoyances and bumps in life.

So what does all of this have to do with a book review?

This morning I spent more time with Sarah Fragoso's new book, Everyday Paleo: Embracing a Natural Diet & Lifestyle to Increase Your Family's Health, Fitness, and Longevity and Sarah gave it to me straight (she's a personal trainer afterall)!

In the chapter "Sleep and Stress" she was speaking right to me when she says:

"[The] secret to successfully destressing is the same as my secret to
maintaining a healthy lifestyle—make the choice to do it! We can choose
to always wallow in the challenges that life throws at us or we can embrace
life's challenges, grateful for all of the good in life that we do have.

Bad stuff happens, every day, all of the time, but managing your
health first is the most important factor in surviving the bad
and coming through it thriving!" 

What I really admire about Sarah and her book is that she, like many of us, is an active mom who has had her share of painful experiences and personal challenges. But looking at her today, I see an overcomer. She glows and inspires.

I think of Everyday Paleo as a 3-in-1 therapy, recipe and fitness book. Sarah's goal is to help you lose weight, regain your health and achieve a level of fitness you never thought possible. She gives detailed instructions for acquiring a Paleo lifestyle. She shows that eating a Paleo diet is not only feasible for the busiest of families, but also easy, delicious and completely life changing. She offers numerous recipes for all meals of the day, and provides tips for getting around common road blocks, such as eating out and school lunches. Finally, to keep your entire family fit and sane, she lays out easy-to-follow workout routines that you can do at the gym or at home.

If you've been curious about the Paleo way of eating and want an easy to follow plan, this would be a good book to buy. Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution, wrote the forward to Sarah's book. You might check out his book for an indepth look at the diet.

I'd say that our family follows a Paleo-inspired diet. I am not sure if we would ever go 100% Paleo, but the tenets of the diet make a whole lot of sense to me. And the simple, wholesome recipes in Everyday Paleo are all ones I plan to try.

Everyday Paleo can be purchased from Amazon. Oh and don't forget to check out the Everyday Paleo blog!

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The Concept Behind the Paleo Way of Eating
"We should eat as our ancestors once did, we should eat based on how we
are genetically wired to eat, and we should eat foods that are not processed,
modified, or tampered with in any way, shape, or form."

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Sunday
May152011

Reflections on Bolting Cilantro

A guest post from my mom and dad from the Big Island of Hawaii.

Reflections on Bolting Cilantro

The too short useful lifespan of the ''little bit goes a long way'' Cilantro in the garden has, at times, frustrated me.

There is such a short window of time to traditionally harvest the the pungent cilantro leaf! Gleefully snapping up my packet of Cilantro seeds from the garden section of our local store, my taste buds perk up from a vision of Guacamole, Thai Spring Rolls and Curry. 

I am in the habit of planting about 10 seeds a week to have successive harvests that are just right, at the usual stage of neat and tidy large potent leaves which are carefully cut from their stems, and sparingly added to my dishes. I still love using the large leaves in the traditional way for garnish and flavor.

Catching my attention in the back row, I admire Cilantro's next stage, which had always gone to compost. I now find myself watching the cilantro bolt after the first harvest. 

Previously, this stage was dreaded because the leaves are smaller, way milder and too hard to harvest. The voluminous 15'' gorgeous dark green, bushy, leafy, many branched, mild scented and sweet, bolting stage of Cilantro called out to me, so I gently cut the bolting plants one inch from the ground (they'll regrow), and whisked them into the kitchen. The main stem is discarded. Chop quite a big pile of everything else (at least several cups per serving). This makes a winning addition to any soup, stew, or stir-fry dish!

I now find myself wishing my cilantro hurries up and gets to that awkward, bolting stage, for the mildest, best tasting, small leafy greens and tender stems!

Thursday
May052011

The Twisted Sisters

Happy Mothers Day all you Mama Bears! You are the inspiration for this blog. The stories you share and every email I receive reassures me that we all have challenges, but that we are not alone in our journey!

I would like to send my very own mommy a special Mothers Day greeting. Mom, you are my best friend, you have never failed me, you are my safe place. Thank you for all you are to me. And, sorry I didn't send a card this year :), I know you understand.

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What would we do without friends? A couple of mine have stepped up to the plate to guest post in my "absence" and I am grateful! A week ago my father passed and I am with my boys and grandparents in Las Vegas sorting through matters. My best friend and husband has been a champ holding down the home front. Thanks hubby!!

Hearing of our news, one of our long-time friends, Dr. Wayne Tompkins offered to do a "guest appearance" until I am able to get back into the kitchen. Dr. Tompkins has a wellness practice in Hollister, Missouri where he treats patients for fertility, women’s health and a myriad of health concerns. Please welcome Dr. Tompkins! 

The Twisted Sisters: The Female Hormone Saga

Once upon a time there were two sisters who had to live together and get along. One of the sisters was very bossy and had a domineering nature. Her name was ‘Estrogen’. The other sister was quiet and submissive and named ‘Progesterone’. Estrogen tried to run the show and didn’t know her boundaries. Unfortunately, she had all the connections and received a lot of help and support from outside the house. She hooked up with her evil friends like Toxin, Stress, and Pollution. With supervision, Estrogen really shined, but left alone, she made poor choices in choosing her friends which upset the restful order in the home.

Dr. Wayne Tompkins of Tompkins Wellness CenterProgesterone, on the other hand, was pretty smart, but she needed lots of help. When Estrogen and her evil friends ruled the roost, she tended to shut down and not stand her ground. However; she knew what it took to create an environment that was inviting and safe for new little inhabitants in the house. With some support from her friends, Rest, Nutrition, and Purification, she harmonized marvelously and stood her ground with her often dominant sibling.

Now you’ve probably figured out this house is your body and the story is not a fairy tale from ages past. It is present day reality and describes a condition commonly known as ‘estrogen dominance’ ... when estrogen has the upper hand. Estrogen’s friends are what are known as, or false estrogens. They are toxins, food dyes, preservatives and noxious chemicals. They are very good imitators of actual estrogen and easily latch on to its receptor sites. The result is hormone imbalance and a dominance of estrogen in the body.

Keeping a balance between estrogen and progesterone are critical for fertility and female health in general. Read the following lists and decide which category you fit into.

Symptoms of Estrogen Dominance

  • Infertility
  • Painful, irregular menstrual cycles
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Fibrocystic Breast Disease
  • PMS
  • Fatigue
  • Hot flashes
  • Foggy thinking…just to name a few

Results of Hormone Balance

  • Fertility
  • Regular menstrual cycles
  • Sufficient energy levels
  • Normal sleep patterns
  • Smooth transition into menopause
  • Absence of unwanted conditions/diseases such as endometriosis, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), fibrocystic breast disease etc.
  • Clear-headed thinking

Hopefully your body is in a state of balance. All too often; however, we see a prevalence of estrogen dominance. Read on to see how balance can be restored in your body.

Dr. Wayne’s Protocol for Restoring Hormone Balance

1. Get a clear picture of your hormone health. Visit with a Natural Women’s Health Practitioner you trust to order a female hormone panel which is customized to your stage of life. (See special offer at the end of this article to get started)

2. Commence recommended female hormone balancing program which usually includes:

  • Specific herb and supplement protocols
  • Detoxification and lifestyle modification
  • Possible adjunctive therapies such as chiropractic and acupuncture
  • Labs to determine initial baseline and progress

Dr. Tompkins offers free 10 minute consults over the phone. To schedule time with him for a chat, call his office at 417-336-2620. In addition, Dr. Tompkins is extending the following Mothers Day special offer to readers of Lexie's Kitchen! For more information, visit www.tompkinswellnesscenter.com.

_______________________________________________________________ 

Mother’s Day Special Offer

25% off: Initial Female Health Panel

Good through May 18, 2011 

Call: 417-336-2620

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Sunday
May012011

Taking a Break

 

Dear all,

I have a family matter to attend to and must take a brief break from blogging. I will be back as soon as I can.

Love you all so very much!

-Lexie

Tuesday
Apr262011

Chive Pepper Muffins & Cookbook Review

Seven-ingredient Chive Pepper Muffins from Elana Amsterdam's new cookbook "Gluten-Free Cupcakes." These muffins were quick and easy to prepare and made a tasty addition to a pot roast dinner. With my kiddos in mind, I used 1 teaspoon black pepper and substituted 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes for the chives. Yum!

Much Anticipated Gluten-Free Cupcake Cookbook Launches!

Today is a day to celebrate! Elana Amsterdam's Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour has hit the market and is flying off Amazon's shelves like hotcakes—or rather, shall I say, sweet and tempting cupcakes.

I have read my preview copy of Gluten-Free Cupcakes cover-to-cover, have made five recipes and want to share my impressions.

Simple Recipes, Quick Prep

If you’ve met Elana, you quickly pick up that she is a no-nonsense lady and the same goes for her recipes and cookbooks. She’s all about keeping it basic and simple (yes!). Ingredient lists are short and directions are clear and concise. Take, for example, her three-ingredient Flourless White Chocolate Cupcake. It calls for is three, yes only three, ingredients—buy the book to find out what they are :).

And speaking of ingredients, after stocking up on the few basics Elana suggests, you can make virtually all of the cupcakes and frostings in the book. For those unaccustomed to baking with ingredients such as almond flour, coconut oil or chia seed, Elana explains what they are, what they do, where to buy them and how to use them.

A Treat for Everyone

If are nut-free, dairy-free, sweetener-free, kosher, paleo, vegan—there are recipes in this book for you. Some recipes call for almond flour, some for coconut flour. I really enjoyed the date, banana and stevia-sweetened Banana Pecan Cupcakes, and made extra to keep in the freezer for a quick bite.

I will note that if you are egg-free, all but one of the cupcake and muffin recipes call for eggs.

Satisfying and Nutritionally Dense

Like Elana, I gravitate to foods that are nutritionally dense; foods that pack goodness into every bite. Unlike traditional cupcakes, Elana's use of high-protein almond flour and eggs ensures just this. I was pleased to find six savory muffin recipes that require not sweetener. The great thing about nutritionally dense foods is that they fill you up. One cupcake (okay, maybe two) and I am satisfied.

Sweet Toppings

Gluten-Free Cupcakes offers a whopping 14 frostings, fillings and toppings—four of which are vegan! I used the Vegan Buttercream to top the Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes I made. Delightful! Elana uses agave nectar in most of her recipes but encourages experimentation with honey, brown rice syrup, xylitol or fruit purees.

Tasty Photos and Clean Layout

This cookbook is very easy and pleasing to the eye. The layout is clean, the photos are rich. It’s a fun book to flip through.

Keep In Mind

Follow Directions: I like it when an cookbook drives home the importance of following directions. Elana tactfully does this. I need the reminder, for I am the queen of improvisation in the kitchen. Follow the directions for optimal results.

Let the Cakes Cool: With these cupcakes, cooling is a step that cannot be skipped. Keep the temptation at bay to pop a fresh one in your mouth and let the cupcakes cool for the length of time Elana says they should.

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WIN IT!

Be one of the very FIRST to own a copy of Elana Amsterdam's new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes.

To Enter: Leave a comment at the end of this post. If you'd like, share with us the one cookbook you could not live without. For and additional chance to win, "LIKE" Lexie's Kitchen on Facebook.

Deadline: To qualify, leave your comment by 5:00 p.m. (CST) Wednesday, May 4th.

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Meet Elana

Elana launched the blog Elana's Pantry in 2006. Five years later she continues to serve up at least one new gluten-free recipe a week. In 2009 she published her first cookbook The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. Elana is near and dear to my heart and I am honored to call her a friend. Though she may not know it, through her blog, she was a help and inspiration to me long before we met. I am certain thousands of others would say the same. Her recipes and anecdotes were rays of sunshine and hope in our home in the days following our food allergy diagnosis. Elana lives with her family in Boulder, Colorado.

Support a Food Blogger

Bloggers do what they do because they love it, because it is their passion—sacrifices are made to bring you the posts that they do. If you'd like to show your appreciation for the efforts of your favorite food blogger turned cookbook author, consider purchasing their book. Here are just a few you might enjoy.

NEW! The Spunky Coconut Grain-Free Baked Goods and Desserts: Gluten Free, Casein Free & Often Egg Free
Kelly V. Brozyna | www.thespunkycoconut.com

NEW! Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free
Silvana Nardone | www.silvanaskitchen.com

NEW! Everyday Paleo
Sarah Fragoso | www.everydaypaleo.com

NEW! More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow
Stephanie O’Dea | crockpot365.blogspot.com

NEW! Simply...Gluten-free Desserts: 150 Delicious Recipes for Cupcakes, Cookies ...
Carol Kicinski | www.simplygluten-free.com

NEW! Good Morning! Breakfasts Without Gluten, Egg, Sugar or Dairy
Ricki Heller | www.dietdessertndogs.com (pdf e-book)

NEW! Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free: 180 Easy and Delicious Recipes You Can Make ...
Amy Green | www.simplysugarandglutenfree.com

Some of the recipes in these cookbooks call for ingredients I do not regularly stock/use (e.g. cane sugar, eggs, etc.). If you have certain dietary restrictions, read the full description and reviews of a book to ensure it is a right fit for you.