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This week was my 24th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been that long! To celebrate we went to a Bed and Breakfast in Provo, and spent the evening walking around reminiscing about living there 24 years ago while attending BYU. We were just babies back then!
Ever sentimental (not!), I bought both of our anniversary presents. I purchased 12 glass bottles for fermenting kombucha for my husband, and I bought myself “The Big Book of Kombucha” recipe book – yes it’s called that! We are very weird around our house. If you don’t know what kombucha is, where have you been?? It’s a hippie-like fermented beverage made from sweet tea. It’s full of lots of happy probiotics for good gut health, which makes me happy too.
As I looked around my kitchen, trying to find room somewhere for these 12 really cool fermenting bottles, I realized I’m weird in multiple ways. I have three half gallon jars of kombucha in the making above the oven. I have goat milk kefir fermenting on the counter, ready for tomorrow’s smoothies. I have my sourdough starter in the fridge, after using it for seedy sourdough bread and sourdough crepes earlier in the week. Next to the starter is a jar of raw goat cheese, getting more and more fermented as the days go by.
But it doesn’t stop in the kitchen… Downstairs I have a huge crock of dilly pickles fermenting away, another few jars of fermenting Russian pickles, a big jar of kimchi, another of green sauerkraut and another of red. They sit next to big jar of fermented dilly beans and garlic. Yes, it looks very much like a mad scientist’s laboratory down there (see photo below). And the smell is a little off if you’re not used to it!
This is the way people have been preserving food for centuries. Long before refrigeration, canning or freezing, people fermented and dried the food if they wanted to store it for later. I call this time of year the “squirrel days”, because we are squirreling away food. Yes, I know there are supermarkets, but will they always be there, and even more importantly, do I really want to eat what they are selling?
I could go off on this subject for days, but I promised to follow up on the gluten free post last week. So, this long intro does serve a purpose. All of the foods I described above are gluten free. Isn’t that amazing. That’s one of my biggest pet peeves about this gluten free craze. All of a sudden people can’t figure out what to eat. I bet you can name 20 foods right now that don’t have gluten in them. Apples, oranges, watermelon, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage, cheese, rice, meat, eggs, butter, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, cucumbers, chocolate, broccoli, peaches………. Why in the world have we forgotten how to eat when we are choosing not to eat gluten??
I’m going to share some gluten free eating tips and recipes with you to make this dietary choice easier, and less expensive. You’ll notice I will not mention one single processed “gluten-free” product. All of these foods are naturally now and always gluten free. You’ll also notice most of these foods are whole foods. Yes, this does increase your prep time (slightly), but along with that it increases your nutritional value exponentially and your costs go down. Try to complain about either of those things.
I want to clarify something first – I do not have celiac disease, I am just very sensitive to the gluten protein found in some grains. So I can eat a fermented sourdough wheat bread on occasion, and I don’t have to make sure there isn’t a speck of the grain in anything. You may be like me, or more sensitive. It’s hard to figure that out unless you go very clean for awhile. I will teach you how to do that, and you can back off if you are able later.
Typical day in our gluten free home:
The Night Before… We always prepare for the coming day, because it makes our food choices easier.
Common complaint…I’m too tired! Do this for me. Prepare for the next day for one week, and I think you will see the time you save the next day, the yummy nutritious food you enjoy, and the stress that is relieved is worth any energy you expend at night. Try it. You just might like it:)
Common complaint…It takes too long to make breakfast! Cereal is all I can do. (PLEASE don’t just buy gluten-free versions of cereal. It’s is so expensive, and it’s about as nutritious as the cardboard box they sell it to you in.) We have not had cereal in our home in at least 5 years. So here’s how we do it. First, we just don’t have it, so we don’t have that option. Second, everyone helps in our home. From toddler age up, everyone is involved in making meals. One kid is in charge of making eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, so it frees me up to make smoothies. Eggs take 4 minutes to cook. You can find 4 minutes!
Common Complaint…I don’t want the same thing every day! Great – so mix and match the list above for a different lunch every day for months!!
Common complaint…I don’t have time to make a from scratch meal. My answer. It takes no more time than trying to figure out what to make, searching your cupboards, running to the store, even going out to eat. I plan my menu on Sunday night and shop Monday if I need anything. I always can make something in 30 minutes or less.
Pile the beans and rice in a bowl. Top with your choice of lettuce, tomatoes, other veggies, salsa, cheese, etc. Cabbage salsa makes it all the more yummy if you have the time to make it.
Soak 2-3 cups of black beans overnight. Cover them with at least 2 inches of water.
In the morning, drain and rinse beans. Put in crockpot with a piece of Kombu seaweed (helps with gas – optional). Cover with 2 inches of water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Dip off the liquid and mash with potato masher. Add salt to taste – will want to add 1 t then taste for more.
Slow Cooker Zuppa Toscana
Brown Italian sausage in skillet. Drain and discard fat.Combine all ingredients except cream and kale in slow cooker. Cook on low 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5.
Add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir, and cook until leaves are wilted and warmed through, 20-30 minutes. Ladle into bowls, serve immediately and enjoy!
Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce
Heat olive oil in a skillet and saute onion until softened. Add garlic and cook a few minutes longer. If you added additional veggies, add them now and saute for a few minutes. Put the veggies and all the other ingredients into a crock pot.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Shortly before serving, remove the bay leaves and taste the sauce. If there’s a slight bitterness, add 1 tablespoon sweetener which will eliminate the bitterness. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bibimbop (this is basically a Korean version of burrito bowl!)
Put an over-easy egg on the top of the rice and veggies. Then top with either gluten free soy sauce (called Tamari) or the Bibimbop sauce (recipe below)
Bibimbop sauce (I make extra and keep it in the fridge)
Brown the hamburger with the chopped garlic. Drain the fat. Dump all cans into the crockpot. Drain the corn and the potatoes, but add the rest of the can liquid to the crockpot. Add the browned meat and a cup of water. Stir with a spoon to mix a bit.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5. Garnish with sliced jalapeno peppers, if desired.
Can’t Find Ranch Beans at your grocery store? No Problem!! simply mix together:
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen of Total Care Dental Near Springville, UT
This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our Springville dental practice would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.
Come experience Total Care Dental and you will see that our Springville, UT dentists and staff offer state-of-the-art, quality dental care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Provo, Pleasant Grove, Lehi, Orem, Lindon, Alpine Highland, Springville, Spanish Fork and surrounding areas. Whether you are seeking an Springville, UT general dentist, sedation dentist, or a completely different approach to dental care, we are here to provide results and the most enjoyable dental visit you will ever have! Call us at (801) 756-3737 and experience the difference with Total Care Dental.
Total Care Dental
12 S 1100 E
American Fork, UT 84003