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.  

 

 

 


 

 

 

Tuesday
May182010

Chicken Long Rice

Welcome all newcomers to Lexie's Kitchen! I'd like to extend a big THANK YOU to Diane Eblin of The W.H.O.L.E. Gang for organizing the 30 Days to a Food Revolution blog event! Inspired by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Diane took it upon herself to round up 30 food bloggers (one a day for one month) to share their suggestions on how to shift from eating processed foods to the healthier foods our bodies need. Today is my day to share a recipe and tip. Below is my post for the event. Be sure to visit The W.H.O.L.E. Gang to read the other 16 posts to date, and the 13 to come. The tips and recipes are being posted by the likes of health coaches, moms, doctors, food writers and chefs.

Alexa’s Recipe: Chicken Long Rice
Alexa’s Tip: Set aside one hour for a Pantry Purge Event

Hanging out at health food stores, co-ops and with my parents’ alfalfa sprout, hippy friends are among my most fond childhood memories. My parents understood the value of fresh, wholesome food and I am grateful for the example they set. Into adulthood I continued to eat well—at least I thought I did. One day, about 20 years after leaving home, I came to the sad realization that A LOT of sugar-laden, preservative-loaded processed food had crept into my pantry. Its convenience and glitz had made it hard to pass up. Looking back, I was shopping in innocent ignorance. Food had changed since the 60’s and 70’s and that change had come in the form of processing.

In the Fall of 2008 my husband and I had a wake up call. Our one-year old son began exhibiting digestive and neurological complications, which led to developmental delays. As any mother would do, I immersed myself in research and found that so many roads led back to diet—that the body is powerful and by re-establishing the right conditions, can heal itself. With the guidance of an allergist and two naturopathic physicians, we developed a plan that eliminated processed foods and those to which he was intolerant. Eight months after remo

ving gluten, dairy, egg, corn, soy, refined sugar and artificial ingredients, his digestive health has returned, his speech and balance are coming and his energy has greatly improved.

My wish for everyone; don’t let a health crisis such as diabetes, a heart attack or cancer be what it takes to start eating right. Scare yourself into it (watch  Food Inc. or the Earth Fare Supermarket videos). Read yourself into it ( Nourishing Traditions is a great first read). Or just spend some time studying the food labels in your pantry. And here begins my tip.

Alexa’s Tip: Set aside one hour for a Pantry Purge Event

This week, set aside an hour, just one hour, and begin the journey to healthier eating! In our home it all started with a Pantry Purge Event. It’s fun, easy and enlightening. Print off The Boot List (a handy glossary of food ingredients) to refer to, grab a couple of boxes and you’re ready to begin. Here are the big health-busters we tackled in our home: 

1. Give Canned Foods (and plastic food storage containers) the Can: Experts believe that epoxy resin-lined cans are our main source of bisphenol_A (BPA) exposure. BPA has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease and more. Buy fresh, frozen, dried or glass jarred foods as much as possible.

2. Bye Bye Bad Fats: Avoid hydrogenated and polyunsaturated oils! Look into the benefits of using coconut oil, palm shortening, and yes, real butter.

3. Away With the Subtle Cereal Killer: In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon writes; “extruded whole grain preparations [flakes and shaped cereals] can have even more adverse affects on the blood sugar than refined sugar and white flour!” Tossing the cereals is probably a good idea. Start your day with yogurt, eggs, an avocado, a smoothie, nuts, etc.

4. Anything Artificial is Outta Here: Most artificial ingredients are derived from petroleum, tar and corn processing and could exacerbate ADD, ADHD and autism symptoms. Be a stickler in this area, get rid of anything artificial.

5. Refined Sugars Take a Hike: Remove white sugar, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Consider using natural, minimally processed sugars such as zero-calorie stevia, raw honey, coconut sugar and date sugar. And while you’re looking at the baking shelf, get rid of the white flour and toss out any baking powder that lists sodium aluminum sulfate as an ingredient.

6. Sugary Drinks Go Down the Drain: Kick the soda habit (you gotta do it!). Toss the juice boxes. And if you are going to drink fruit juice, water it way down. Drink Water.

7. Ban the “Can’t Haves”: In our home, the big “can’t have” is gluten. Remove the foods to which you are allergic or intolerant.

8. Give GMO’s the No Go: It is suspected that modified grains contain foreign proteins that are likely to be highly irritating to the digestive tract. What’s the big deal with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)? Watch The Future of Food or read Earth Fare Supermarket’s summary of GMO’s for more insight. 

Hooray! You are on your way. Now, while you are at it, how about moving on to the fridge? The journey to better health and eating is exactly that, a journey. Embrace it, seek out new flavors, buy organic as much as possible, and develop an appreciation for cooking and the role it can play in the health of your family.

 

Alexa’s Recipe: Chicken Long Rice

Chicken Long Rice | An age-old recipe from ChinaIf you’ve been to a Hawaiian luau, chances are you’ve had Chicken Long Rice. Hawaii is a delightful melting pot of the cultures and flavors of the Pacific Rim and beyond. As a child growing up on the Hamakua Sugar Plantation, I’d always anticipate my dad bringing home a plate of leftovers from Friday pau hana (after work) parties. And almost always the plate included some Chicken Long Rice.

Though the name suggests it, there is no “rice” in this age-old Chinese dish, but rather Mung bean thread noodles. It’s a comforting meal, quick to assemble and a great choice for anyone avoiding gluten or grains. Mung bean thread noodles, bamboo shoots and dried Shiitake mushrooms can be found at most larger grocery chains and at Asian markets. 

Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for a quick meal another day.

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
SERVES: 4

Soak 1/4 ounce dried SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes.

Soak 5 ounces MUNG BEAN THREAD NOODLES in a large bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.

In a large wok or pot over high heat, stir-fry for one minute:

2 tablespoons OIL
2 cloves GARLIC minced
1/4 medium ONION thinly sliced
2 tablespoons GINGER minced

Add and stir-fry until meat is just cooked through:

1-1/2 pounds organic CHICKEN TENDERS thinly sliced across the grain
1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT
1/8 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER

Add and simmer for 5 minutes:

3 cups CHICKEN BROTH
Soaked SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS sliced and the SOAKING WATER
Soaked BEAN THREAD NOODLES 

Add and simmer 3 more minutes:

2 medium CARROTS peeled and finely shredded
1 cup thinly sliced PURPLE CABBAGE
1/2 cup matchstick BAMBOO SHOOTS

Top each individual bowl with lots of thinly sliced green onion and serve.

Now, how about dessert! What about some gluten-free, dairy-free Cocoa Bean Cookie Truffles—just like the Oreo® truffles you used to eat!

Saturday
May082010

Cocoa Bean Cookie Truffles

This post is linked to Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge January 2011

Lexie's Kitchen's version of the Oreo® TruffleI am so excited to share this one with you! I am not sure when Oreo® truffles made their debut, but wow, are they good—and rich. My friend recently made a batch and though I could eat them, my little GFCFEF son could not. So off to work I went modifying to make an Oreo truffle he could enjoy—one that was gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and on the healthier side. Give these a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

THE COOKIE MIXTURE

Combine in food processor until very smooth:

1-1/4 cup cooked and drained unsalted/unseasoned WHITE BEANS
1/3 cup RICE MILK (or other non-dairy milk)

Add and process for one minute:

2 tablespoons FLAX MEAL (I use Stober’s available at Costco)
2 tablespoons gluten-free VANILLA EXTRACT
15 drops VANILLA STEVIA EXTRACT (I use Sweet Leaf® Vanilla Crème)

Add and process just until combined:

1/2 cup COCOA POWDER
1/2 cup BOB’S RED MILL® AP GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR (5 lb bags available at Costco)
1/4 cup runny HONEY
1/4 teaspoon SEA SALT
1/2 teaspoon BAKING SODA

Spread batter in a 9x13” pan lightly coated with oil. Bake at 325˚F for 40 minutes. Remove, allow to cool, then process in food processor to fine crumbs. Transfer cookie crumbs to a bowl and reserve. Add to food processor and process into a fine meal:

2/3 cup raw CASHEW NUTS (soaked 4 hours and rinsed well)

Add to cashews and process 3-5 minutes or until super smooth:

Reserved cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons liquefied COCONUT OIL
3 tablespoons gluten-free organic BROWN RICE SYRUP
1 tablespoon runny HONEY
1-2 tablespoons WATER, if needed, to form a soft dough

Measure out even sized balls using a one-tablespoon cookie dough scoop. Roll into smooth balls with hands (moisten if needed) and place onto a plate. Cover and place in freezer for 60 minutes or until firm and well chilled.

THE TRUFFLE COATING

Gently melt and mix the following until smooth:

3/4 cup gluten-free, dairy-free CHOCOLATE CHIPS (I use Enjoy Life®)
1 tablespoon COCONUT OIL

ASSEMBLING THE TRUFFLES

Remove chocolate balls from freezer and dip into chocolate coating using two forks (gently shake to remove excess). Transfer to a cookie sheet or plate lined with baking parchment and embellish if desired (see Notes). When all truffles have been dipped and embellished, transfer to freezer to harden. Store in an airtight container in freezer or refrigerator. If stored in freezer, remove 15 minutes prior to serving.

NOTES: I like a thin coating of chocolate. If you prefer it thicker, reduce or cut out the coconut oil in the coating. Embellish with decorative dairy-free sprinkles, cocoa powder, candied orange rind, etc. Flax meal is easily made by grinding flax seeds in a coffee grinder or high-powered blender.

Wednesday
May052010

Starbucks VIA Nutmilk Café Au Lait

My sister has turned me on to those little Starbucks VIA Ready Brew® instant coffee packs. She travels for business and likes that she can have a consistently good cup of coffee anywhere, anytime. Now, I don't foresee giving up my coffee maker, but the VIA packets have come in real handy in baking and make an exceptionally good nut milk café au lait. If you've never made nut milk, here's how I do it.

For this café au lait I used Almond & Pine Nut Milk.

In a high-powered blender, blend on high for one minute:

1 cup raw ALMONDS (soaked overnight and rinsed well)
1/4 cup raw PINE NUTS (optional)
1 teaspoon SOY LECITHIN GRANULES (optional)
2 teaspoons CHIA SEEDS (optional)
4 cups WATER

Strain milk using a nut milk bag, return to blender, add and blend on low for 10 seconds:

2 tablespoons runny HONEY
1/8 teaspoon ALMOND EXTRACT
Dash of SEA SALT

Heat one cup of your fresh nut milk and add 1/2-1 packet of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew. Curl up on the couch and enjoy!

Wednesday
May052010

Celery Root Fries

Last week I bought another celeriac (also known as celery root). Had I known about this ugly little gem when I was on the anti-candida diet, it would have gotten me through the days I craved French fries!  Unlike other root vegetables, which store a large amount of starch, celery root is only about 5-6% starch by weight. You can visit Wikipedia for more tidbits on this often overlooked veggie. The last time I prepared celeriac was in a stir-fry. This time I gave fries a go. The flavor was lovely and mild. Dipped in a little catsup and I had my taste buds fooled into thinking they were French fried potatoes!

Use a sharp knife to remove the base and top from the celeriac so it sits flat. To peel, cut down the side, close to the skin, being careful not to remove too much flesh. Slice root into 1/4-1/2" fries.

Deep fry in 1-2" of oil (I used Grapeseed) that has been heated to 350˚F. Brown and transfer to plate lined with paper towels. Salt to taste while still warm.

Thursday
Apr292010

Meatballs in Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce

Last Sunday some friends had us over for dinner. Deb brought out this huge platter of elk meatballs and placed it conveniently in front of me. "Did I have to pass them around, I wondered secretly?" I could have devoured every last one! Well, after my raving about them she kindly gave me the recipe. The next day I went to work modifying. Her recipe called for catsup. I thought I'd try to cut back on the sugar, by making a catsup-like sauce using sun-dried tomatoes and a bit of honey. Here is what I came up with.

THE SAUCE

Combine and soak to soften:

1/3 cup SUN DRIED TOMATOES (dry, not soaked in oil)
1-1/2 cups boiling WATER

In blender, puree:

Sun-dried tomatoes and soaking water
1/3 cup Bragg’s APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
2 tablespoons HONEY
1 teaspoon SEA SALT
1 small ONION

THE MEATBALLS

In a large bowl combine:

2 pounds ground BISON, BEEF or ELK
1/2 cup RICE CRACKER CRUMBS (easily made in a blender or food processor)
1 cup jarred mild SALSA (I used Pace Picante)
1 teaspoon SEA SALT
1 teaspoon ONION POWDER

Shape meat mixture into 2-4” balls using cookie dough scoop. Place in baking dish and cover with the tomato mixture. Bake 350˚F for 1 hour (or until cooked through). For crispy-top meatballs switch from bake to broil for last five minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 3-5 minutes.

NOTES: The meatballs are mighty good even without the sauce.