Affairs of Living

Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, whole foods recipes

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Thursday
Sep042008

Kohlrabi Garlic Soup a.k.a. Kick Parasites and Fungus in the Ass Soup

kohlrabi, my favorite antibacterial food

This recipe makes a naturally anti-fungal, anti-parasite super soup. I love kohlrabi. An odd-looking member of the cabbage family, kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, and has a slightly sweet flavor. Raw, it is crunchy and light. Cooked, it has substantial body. Even better, kohlrabi is a really healing food! Kohlrabi, Garlic, Onion, and Thyme are all naturally anti-fungal, and help transform dampness in the body. Garlic and onion also help dispel worms and parasites. Yes! This soup is fast, easy, tasty, and full of good things for you.

Kohlrabi Garlic Soup a.k.a. Kick Parasites and Fungus in the Ass Soup

Serves 4

4 Kohlrabi
1 bulb garlic
1 onion
fresh thyme sprigs
fresh parsley
dash Herbamare, Trocomare, or sea salt
dash kelp powder
1 1/2 - 2 c broth
optional: unsweetened rice/soy/oatmilk, flax oil

First, prepare your garlic and onions for roasting. Cut off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing each clove. Peel the onion and cut in half. Wrap the garlic and onion in tin foil and roast until soft at 350* (about 30-40 minutes). Meanwhile, peel kohlrabi and chop into chunks. Cook kohlrabi until tender with your favorite method - steam, saute, roast (yum!), braise, etc. Important note: Don't overcook kohlrabi! It takes on a funky, overcooked cabbagey flavor if overcooked.

Once garlic is roasted, squeeze out as many cloves as you would like - or as much as you can stand! Wrap up any unused garlic and refrigerate, and use in other recipes. Place roasted garlic mash, onion, cooked kohlrabi, thyme leaves, parsley, and broth into a blender or food processor. Puree in batches if necessary. Blend/process until smooth. Use more or less broth, depending on how thick or thin you'd like the soup. If you'd like, add a splash of your favorite milk substitute to make it creamier.

Once pureed, heat soup through in pot and adjust seasonings/liquid quantity as necessary. Then serve up! I like to pour on a little flax oil once I have it dished up, for some added flaxen goodness. The flax oil could also be added during the pureeing process. If you do add while pureeing, just make sure that you do not heat the soup to a high tempurature after - the flax oil will lose potency.

Once heated through, dish up and enjoy!

This soup is also great served with salads, grain/vegetable dishes, or meats. Or, want a really antifungal/antiparasite meal? Serve up with some pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds, in addition to being delicious and nutritious, also have anti-parasitic properties.

This is a flexible recipe - I've added a little lemon juice, have made without parsley and with other herbs instead, have sauteed garlic and onion instead of roasting, have added dulse flakes and mixed in other seaweeds. I have also added blanched kohlrabi greens and blended them in - resulting in a very very bright green soup. If you can tolerate raw garlic (I can't, but lucky you!), use raw instead and blend up for a super strong treat. You can do just about anything! Make this recipe yours!

Enjoy!

Tuesday
Sep022008

The answer? Candida and parasites.

The test are in!

I do have parasites and a Candida Yeast overgrowth (as suspected)! The Candida was not a surprise, but the parasites were. I guess lots of people have parasites, and it isn't that uncommon after all.It feels so good to have a answer - a real, DNA-based answer - to explain what is going on. And also to know that the dietary and lifestyle modifications that I've been making have been on the right track. My naturopath has prescribed a bunch of different treatments and we are on a mission.

I had stopped my previous anti-fungals when I started seeing my new naturopath, so I've been off them for almost 6 weeks. I just started taking Caproyl a few days ago, and now I'm experiencing the start of die off symptoms again - sore throat, headache, some stomach discomfort, some bloating, chills (despite the sweltering summer heat), all that stuff. My combination anti-parasite/anti-fungal herbal concoction will be arriving in the mail shortly, and I'll probably have another round of die-off symptoms when I start with that. Water, water, water. At least the die-off is short. The results will last longer. And I have an answer!

The tricky part: parasites feed off protein. Also, the tests showed that my body isn't digesting protein very well. So, I can't stick to the high-protein low-carb diet suggested by so many anti-Candida plans. I had been eating this way and felt overloaded by meat and low on carbohydrate-driven energy. So, I need to stick to a lower protein intake to kill off the parasites, and instead emphasize good, whole grains and smaller amounts of vegetable and meat proteins. It may feed the Candida more, but at least I'll be digesting the food. And I rather eat a little more millet than an extra steak anyway. :)

I am excited because my naturopath is encourage 1 low sugar fruit a day - which is more than I was allowing myself. That was like music to my fruit-starved ears.

So. Parasites and Candida. Watch out. This lady is on a mission.

Friday
Aug152008

spiced congee with a zucchini "bread" twist

Late summer always brings an abundance of zucchinis, and in my past life as a gluten-eater, lots of wholesome zucchini baked goods would result. Having a slice of fresh zucchini bread or a tasty muffin with my morning coffee was the ultimate way to start the day.

In my current gluten-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free existence, zucchini bread and coffee just doesn't fit in the picture so well.

So, I made something close that does: spiced congee with a zucchini 'bread' twist

In my bowl I mixed together the following:
Congee (a ginger/anise/orange spiced wild rice, brown rice, sweet brown rice blend)
flax seed
flax seed oil
ginger and cinnamon
finely chopped zucchini

I threw the whole thing in the microwave until the zucchini softened. Yum! It was delicious! I threw on a little roasted laver, because I love laver endlessly. It would be amazing with walnuts or pecans too... It was the perfect midmorning snack at work. And close enough to the flavor of zucchini bread to satisfy.

Thursday
Aug142008

Congee - ultimately satisfying

Congee is a traditional Chinese food famed to have healing properties. It is said to boost qi and nourish the spleen, and restore health to the ailing. The most simple and common recipe for congee is 1 part rice to 6-12 parts water, but you can also mix in other grains, beans, meats, spices, whatever you choose. The waterier the congee, supposedly the more healing. The trick is the cooking process - congee is best cooked over low heat for many many hours. What results is an easily digestible, soupy porridge, and it is tasty and fulfilling beyond words.

I have been on a congee kick lately and have been playing with different combinations. My favorite combo of the moment is a mix of wild rice, sweet brown rice, brown rice, kombu, ginger, orange peel, and star anise. I use my crock pot, throw in the ingredients the night before, and awaken to a large batch of warm, delicious congee. And one batch lasts for days! The wild rice adds a nutty flavor, hearty texture, and lovely color variation. Living in Minnesota, I have a deep love for wild rice in a very general sense. It isn't technically a rice either, did you know that?

Warming wild rice congee

1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c sweet brown rice
1/4 c brown rice
2 inches fresh ginger, grated or chunked per your preference
1 star anise (break open pods a bit)
a couple pinches dry orange peel or fresh zest
1 3-inch piece kombu seaweed (adds flavor, minerals, and helps soften rice)
8-9 c water (seriously - the wild rice sucks it up)

Rinse rice well, and soak for at least 6 hours. Soaking the rice starts the sprouting process, and makes the rice more easily digestible.

Put the soaked rice, ginger, anise, orange peel, and kombu in the crock pot with 8 cups of water. Cover, and put on low. Cook overnight, or for at least 6-7 hours. I've let mine cook as long as 12 with great results. The longer you cook, the more water you need, so if you know it will be a long time, add a little more water for good measure.

When done, remove the kombu chunk and large chunks of anise/ginger/etc, and serve up!

Serving suggestions:
*flax seed oil or pumpkin seed oil drizzled on
*flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds
*nuts or nut butters (I added a little homemade hazelnut butter and that was divine)
*dash of cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, clove, etc
*add beans (azuki or garbanzo are really tasty mixed in)
*add seaweed (crumbled laver, nori, soaked hijiki, etc)

Variations:
*switch up your spices or herbs to change the flavor completely
*switch up your rices
*add another grain that you can tolerate - millet, quinoa, teff (teff, brown rice, and sweet brown rice is really tasty), amaranth, oats, whatever
*add any combination of garlic, onions, grated carrots, squash chunks, sweet potato chunks, beans, meat, etc to the raw rice and cook it all together
*add dried fruits

This is a basic recipe that could go ANY direction, sweet, savory, spicy, herby, whatever. Get creative!

Enjoy!

Tuesday
Jun172008

Conversion experience: Core Power yoga

I had heard a lot about the wonders of CorePower yoga - a hot room, challenging classes, awesome instructors - but had my suspicions about how different a yoga experience it really could be. The last couple months, I dedicated a lot of time to getting back into a yoga practice, and I decided yesterday to pass up my Vinyasa class at the good old YWCA and take advantage of the free intro week at CorePower.

Whoa.

I had never sweat so much in my entire life. Until today, that is, when I decided to go again, and think I actually sweat more.

Yoga has never been quite like that before - the hot room allowed me to sink more deeply into poses, but also totally kicked my ass. The heat was amazing. The instructors were great. And the environment is rather posh - they even have a retail area that sells all those beautiful and overpriced yoga and lounge clothes made from bamboo and recycled fabrics.

I'm hooked. Unfortunately, classes are expensive (regular rates are 5 classes for $75, for example, or unlimited for a month with autopay for $119). The bright spot is that the first month of your membership is $89, so one month seems slightly more doable. Regardless, I plan on going as much as I can for this free week!

I have been researching ways to take yoga around town for cheap and/or free, and my latest discovery was a limited time only coupon for a $39 unlimited month at Bikram's Yoga College of India. So, July will be spent doing Bikram, perhaps August will be at CorePower. The most affordable option looks like One Yoga, a non-profit studio that has donation-based classes almost everyday of the week ($8-$10 suggested). I plan on trying out a meditation class on Sunday night.