Last winter when I was hardly eating and in the hospital for stomach and intestinal pain, my therapist gave me a recipe for coconut pumpkin spice mousse. It’s super easy to digest (if you can eat egg whites) and it’s super delicious. I eat it all hours of the day and night. It tastes like pumpkin pie, but a bit less sweet.
Because I’m still on the repair diet, (with eggs and almond milk this week!) I made it without sugar. It wasn’t as great, so last night I made it with a pinch of coconut sugar. (Shhhh: it’s a secret cheat.) I bet you could use honey, too. It’s good warm, but better after a few hours chilled.
*1 can of pumpkin (I’m a fan of this organic brand.)
*6 egg whites
*2/3 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
*2 T pumpkin pie spice
*1 t vanilla
*3 T or less of agave, honey, or coconut sugar
Pour into 8×8 pan and bake at 325 for 25-35 mins. It should come out slightly jiggly. Serve chilled. You can top with a bit confectioners sugar for friends and family who want it a touch more sweet. It’s a lovely fall and winter treat for cool/cold evenings, although I’ve been known to eat it for breakfast. Enjoy!
(I’d like to give credit for this recipe to whoever made it up, but I don’t know who that was…)
*i get to add in almond milk this week. you have no idea how exciting this is after almost 8 weeks without it. (exceptions included a little bit on vacation, of course.) i’ve been waiting for this day to come and i’m thrilled it’s here. my giddy about going to the co-op this afternoon and leaving with my favorite almond milk and pouring it over blueberries and into my morning cup of tea.
*i just ate the most amazing italian sausage i have ever had. it’s from a NY organic farm and i bought it at the syracuse regional market last week. pretty sure i need to put in a request for 10 more pounds of it.
*i’m going to run 4 miles today to train for my 15k. i should be up to 5 but the 3 days of contamination sickness knocked me down.
*it felt like fall this morning. i think i’m ready for it to ease out of summer, but not too quickly. i’ll miss our soaking pool once it’s too cold. it’s already starting to collect fall leaves.
our farm share has gotten so large, i decided to have some girlfriends over to share in the bounty. we had a little party of produce: grilled peaches, farm-fresh melons, plums, apples, and berries, and some fruit-filled drinks. (recipes below!)
i found these two fruit-infused vodkas on saturday and decided to try something different: hangar one spiced pear vodka and crop harvest earth organic cucumber vodka. they did not disappoint. i find that vodka is one of the few alcohols i can tolerate without pain and morning-after punishment. my guess is because it’s highly distilled. a good choice for people with digestive issues who want to enjoy a drink now and then.
cucumber vodka recipe:
*1 cucumber, thinly sliced
*1 liter of regular seltzer water
*pour seltzer into pitcher of sliced cucumbers approximately 20 minutes before serving to soak in the cucumber flavor. for each serving, combine 1 shot of cucumber flavored vodka with infused/ing seltzer. add ice and 2 slices of cucumber. enjoy the lightest end-of-summer drink ever.
pear vodka recipe:
*1 asian or bartlett pear, thinly sliced
*1 liter of vanilla flavored seltzer water
*pour seltzer into pitcher of sliced pear approximately 20 minutes before serving to soak in the pear flavor. for each serving, combine 1 shot of pear-infused flavored vodka with infused/ing seltzer. add ice and pear slices. we also added a few blueberries, just for fun. this drink is a bit sweeter because of the sweetness of the fruit and the vanilla seltzer. i never add sugar to mixed drinks (i even drink my mojitos without sugar) but all of my gals loved it without any sugar added: i think that’s the perfect test of sweetness.
my friend whit brought cherry mojitos–i need to ask her for that recipe. i think it’s mint with pitted fresh cherries, cherry-infused vodka and seltzer. they were also amazing.
always have a pitcher of strawberry and mint infused water standing by to sip.
if u are not gluten/dairy free, stop by the greek fest for some sweet treats. i’m sure they tasted as wonderful as they looked.
seriously: that’s a goal of mine. to never again have to drink any substance that comes in powdery form. i thought it was bad enough prepping for a colonoscopy last summer. i made it through that cleansing experience by dumping the entire powder mixture into a quart of organic sugar-packed lemonade and chugging it for an hour.
right now, i’ve graduated to UltraInflamx in mango flavor: it’s less fun than it sounds. (anything labeled “medical food” causes me to pause.) my doctor has me on it because i’m doing the ReStore diet and it’s supposed to help with an intense anti-inflammatory restoration detox by providing a lot of vitamins, minerals and protein. this morning was my first go at it.
the powder looks like bright mustard-yellow curry:
mixed with water, it looks like…mustard-colored curry mixed with water.
it tastes like s*^t.
in other news, i made a big mistake and ate out at the distillery on tuesday night. why i trusted their gluten-free menu is beyond me. i asked the waitress to check with the cooks about salad dressing: she returned to tell me everything i ordered was “okay” but the look on her face was full of uncertainty. my friends just looked at me and said: don’t eat the salad dressing. i didn’t. but what i did do is eat the grilled chicken, which was covered with (maybe not gluten-free?) spices and most likely cooked on a grill that had no been cleaned for contamination.
i’m on day 3 of killer stomach pain and i’m working from bed with my heating pad pressed against my stomach. depending on the level of contamination, it usually takes 3-4 days to feel okay, so i know it will end.
i wish my belly button was a reset button for my entire digestive track. that would really nice right now…
my sister and brother-in-law are joining me on the detox diet for 2 weeks. i’m not sure if this makes them crazy, supportive or both. either way, they are on day 2. they are eating more food than i’m allowed to (eggs, night shade veggies, etc.)
most of the texts i get from my sister involve pleads about sugar: “is honey allowed?” no. “i crave sugar.” eat more fruit.
the best texts come from my brother-in-law:
bro: “day two detox. going strong. hungry”
me: “me 2. what i ate today: 3 plums, 2 nectarines, 3 carrots, 1 cucumber, 1 avocado, 1 piece of chicken on lettuce…that’s it so far”
bro: “all day: banana, apple, plain burger, egg salad, avocado, peace, carrots, split pea soup, tomato, lemon water. compared to: oreos, chocolate, cheese its, wings, pizza, corn chips and fries.”
every august, my paternal extended family meets at our family camp on bear pond (which is actually a small lake) in north turner, maine for a week of eating, swimming, playing, reading, relaxing, and more eating. the main building at the camp is a former inn that has a massive kitchen with industrial ovens, stove tops, sinks, refrigerators, etc., and at any one meal, roughly 15 people are making meals for their individual families and friends they bring with them (this year there were 68 of us–60 family/8 friends of family).
most of my cousins are dudes: we have a plethora of guys in my family. there are only 3 girls (my sister, me, and my cousin debbie). my aunts had a lot of boys and my uncle had 5 boys. two of them had 5 more boys. seriously. anywho, my cousin debbie’s son JD had read about the elvis sandwich and decided that it was written in the stars that during family week, they make one. and eat it. all of it.
according to legend, every night, elvis ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with bacon on a loaf of bread. times 2. that’s two full loafs of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, and a pound of bacon. (the internets suggests instead of jelly he used bananas, but whatever.) i give you the chaffee family version:
step 1: grill up a pound of bacon
step 2: break out a loaf of bread, a jar of jam and a jar of peanut butter
step 3: cover one side of the bread with the full jar of peanut butter
step 4: cover the opposite side with a jar of jelly
step 5: lay on the full pound of bacon
step 6: smoosh the two sides together
step 7: cut into pieces to share among all the dudes
step 8: if you’re me, realize that 11 dudes are about to eat this masterpiece but no girls can/will (because they are either vegetarian, gluten-free, or too disgusted to try it). recruit your cousin once-removed’s friend Bella to take one for the girls and eat a piece.
step 9: watch reactions of disgust or absolute pleasure at the bread, peanut butter jammy bacon hits their mouths/stomachs.
(all pictures by my bro-in-law joe and my brother joel: thanks guys!)
just returned from 9 days in the great state of Maine: i survived vacation by dumping my detox diet and eating my weight in sugar. no seriously. i ate enough sugar in 9 days to make up for the 7 weeks i didn’t have any. it was worth every single morsel. plus, i needed something to write about here, so clearly, i had to try as many gluten-free and dairy-free sugary things as possible!
in order of my favorite things, 4 total:
1. my sister sarah’s gluten-free, banana chocolate chip cookies. (pictured above.) she made up the recipe herself (get it here) and they were amazing. so amazing that we baked a batch and i ate exactly 5 and a 1/2 cookies in 1 hour.
2. s’mores. i ate 6 s’mores in maine, exactly as planned. honestly, they didn’t taste that different from regular s’mores: maybe a little less sweet, but still awesome. sarah found these marshmallows at her health food store: they are gluten-free, diary-free, and oddly, sugar-free. wasn’t too sure about the sugar-free part but we were pleasantly surprised! they toast right up like marshmallows and have the exact same texture as regular marshmallows, only without that sharp sugar taste. loved them. plus, they are 2-toned: white and purple. and they are made in belgium. (if you’re in the market for toasted coconut marshmallows, i still have these in my fridge for the taking.) we used S’moreables for graham crackers, which were more like cookies than crackers, but that’s all i could find before we left. for chocolate, we used our favorite chocolate chip brand, enjoy life. they make candy bars perfect for s’mores. (we used the rice milk bar and also tried the dark chocolate bar for kicks.)
3. So Delicious Coconut Milk ice cream. this brand has changed my life. meaning, it’s the one and only way I have and ever will eat ice cream again. it’s made from coconut milk and it’s so good, it’s hard not to eat an entire container in one sitting. i’m not a fan of every flavor. i love love love the chocolate peanut butter swirl, but i didn’t like the vanilla bean all that much. it was far too sweet, like eating too much cake batter. we also tried butter pecan, which has no added sugar: it tasted like maple syrup–something i don’t mix with anything but pancakes. i was totally shocked by how much i loved the plain chocolate which had no sugar in it: it was like eating semi-sweet frozen chocolate chips. i wanted to try more flavors, but a lot of grocery stores don’t carry more than 1-2 flavors, so they aren’t easy to find.
4. Mahalo candy bar: vegan’s dream. it’s the perfect replacement for the almond joy, my former addiction. in fact, i think it’s even better than an almond joy. made by go max go foods, it’s one of their gluten-free candy bars and i’ve never seen them in rochester. please don’t tell me where they are locally, or i’ll be in trouble.
as of yesterday, i’m back on detox and sugar-free until…well, i need to pick a date so i have something to look forward to. i’m thinking some time in october when there’s perfect fall weather and i can bake up a huge apple crisp. will have to start looking for some good GL/DF recipes. also, still want to try this chocolate zucchini bread. until then, back to the no-sugar grind!
it’s technically not day 20 of the detox because i’ve cheated on tea, wine, and some potato stuffs over the past 2 weeks. but my doctor told me i don’t have to start all over, but to just keep going and try to stick to the detox as much as possible. i’m actually thinking it’s about to get easier: tomorrow i leave for my annual vacation in Maine and eating in Maine is fun, fun fun!
*i’m staying at places with kitchens, refrigerators, lots of counter space and grills. i never have to eat out unless i really want to.
*i’m traveling/staying with my sister, who is also gluten, dairy, and soy intolerant. this means we plan all of our meals together and get really giddy about trying new things. (we might attempt this marshmallow recipe. stay tuned.)
*my sister’s husband loves to cook with me and i love to cook with him. what we’re making for our next meal is always a topic.
*i’m spending 3 days on the coast, so i’ll be buying seafood straight from the source: off the docks. giddy about this.
*i’m then spending 5 days at my family camp on a lake, a few miles from this organic farm. i buy a lot of produce here. bonus: they make all their own yard and the upstairs is a knitter’s heaven.
in other news, i’ve stopped taking pictures of everything i eat because i’m literally eating the same things over and over again: blueberries, cherries, peaches, asparagus, salads, fennel, meat, herbal tea, blah blah blah. i’ve started only taking pictures of the interesting stuff i eat. i’ve lost 3 pounds. my jeans are fitting better. this makes me happy.
exactly what i said out loud in the cold foods aisle of Laurie’s Natural Foods yesterday when i discovered that my favorite toasted coconut flake marshmallows have a “may contain traces of wheat” allergy warning. so disappointing. i ate them last summer, 6 months before tests showed i had a gluten intolerance, and never noticed the warning. of course, back then none of my doctors suggested i avoid wheat, so i ate what i felt like eating.
sigh. i’m only disappointed because i was saving my first intake of sugar in 7 weeks (i can’t believe it will be that long!) for s’mores on my trip to Maine next week and now i’m not so sure i’ll be eating more than the gluten-free grahams and the gluten/dairy/soy-free chocolate. i haven’t bothered to check the warnings on regular bags of marshmallows because i’m slightly grossed out by gelatin.
i hate that word “may”–maybe yes or maybe no? sweet and sara’s faqs page says that only one kind of marshmallow (of course, the s’more flavor!) contains gluten; however, all of them are made on lines that process wheat-containing products. once again, i’m kinda stuck: risk a belly ache and not know if it’s from contamination or from sugar? decisions, decisions. might just eat my weight in the chocolate. or maybe my sister and i could try to whip up our own recipe…
i’m not going to lie and say i’m still doing the hardcore detox. instead, i’m going to say i’m on the detox with 1 exception: tea. i didn’t have any caffeine yesterday, which made for a long day, but it was a lazy sunday and i spent half of it at the beach and the other half at a bbq where i ate steamed clams (no butter, so good), 4 handfuls of blue tortilla chips (not on detox) and two glasses of chardonnay (definitely not on detox). last night i regretted both the wine and the tortilla chips while laying in bed with a agonizing stomach ache. this morning, i really regretted them, but i’ll leave out those details.
three things that made my weekend, in order:
1. squash seed oil. holy-moly this stuff is AMAZING. it’s nutty as ever but made from squash seeds. i can’t stop putting it on everything: salad, meats, raw veggies. C will probably catch me pouring it into my mouth this week. it was a gift from my sweet friend Sarah, giver of all thoughtful presents. she found it at F. Oliver’s, a shop that specializes in oils and vinegars in Canandaigua, NY. i will definitely be taking a special trip there soon because their specialty oils and infused olive oils look incredible. (note to friends and family: anything from F Oliver’s will be at the top of the list for any gifts you plan on giving or receiving.)
2. i had an interesting dinner friday night at Tapas (St. Paul St., Rochester). C and i usually go to Tapas for our anniversary and get mojitos. Right now, they have really amazing strawberry mojitos that taste great even if you forgo the sugar, as i always do. i used to be a fan of the flattened potato gnocchi, but my gluten-intolerance won’t let me go there anymore. their menu is great, but most of it is a no-go for gluten and dairy-free people. however, they had a special friday night: ahi tuna with collard greens, prosciutto, and olives. it was way too salty, but it was still lovely to be able to eat with C and our fiends and not just sit there and stare at all the food around me i couldn’t touch.
3. i started training for this 15k with my sister. it will be my first race. i’m excited.