Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Oh Tomatillos - Where have you been?

Tomatillos.  They were new to me, until last week.  Now they are my friends.

Variety is the spice of life...  it's true.

I had never paid much (if any) attention to tomatillos in the grocery stores.  I thought they were just another type of tomato, or something...  Something is right!  They are something wonderful that my kids like to eat and this makes me very happy.

For most children and adults on the GAPS, Rotation or Feingold diets, variety is a key factor in controlling food allergies and also in promoting healing, especially in the gut.  But, let's face it, it is work. All the cooking and dishes and dishes and cooking...   and the fact that we no longer go out for dinner anymore, well, you know how it is.  Home cooking double meals each day, it's time consuming and -- it's exhausting.

So, when I find something yummy that is affordable and safe for the whole family -- I get happy.  Yep.  Happy.

We eat a lot of fresh, raw and living foods already, so this recipe was embraced and welcomed into our family as one of own.  This slightly sticky-skinned food is a bit on the lemony or tart side and the juice seems to thicken as it sets.  I swear it thickens in the fridge.  Interesting...

As far as nutritional value goes, tomatillos are low calorie, cholesterol free, low in sodium and contain magnesium* and iron.  This alone makes me a fan!

It's ridiculously easy...  only 5 ingredients in the salsa.

Portion-wise - serves 4 of us for lunch.

3 - tomatillos, cubed (sugar cube-sized)
1/2 red onion, chopped, but - not too fine
Big pinch of salt
Juice from 1/2  of a lime (lime juice)
Fresh cilantro to taste - I use about 1/4 cup

In a glass bowl, combine ingredients and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes, stirring often.  That's it.

Serve with chips.  I add black beans and rice -- and call it a side dish for Nicolas.  He eats it.  He likes it.  He does not react to it.  All good.

I know, I know, red onion can be a bit strong... BUT, wait...  something wonderful and magical happens when the fresh squeezed lime juice, tomatillos and red onions combine with the salt...  mmm.

Cost for tomatillos:  $1.19/lb.  Hubs came home with 2 lbs, which will last a long time too.

Test for ripeness:  The shell should be dry, light brownish -- at least for the green tomatillos we find in the city closest to us.  There are other varieties and colors, but - I cannot find them here in Wisconsin.

By appearance, tomatillos remind me of my grandmother's ground cherries, but - are not the same.  Not at all.  She made pies and jams out of her ground cherries.  We make salsa.

Tomatillos are called Mexican ground cherries and from the recipes I have seen, they are used in Latin American dishes/recipes.  For us, they are a safe and nutritious food for my family.

If you try these, let me know if you like them?

*Magnesium post...   ASD Experiment #1

Note - I have removed all supplements from Nicolas' diet since May, due to allergy testing.  

I am filled bursting with thankfulness, when I look back at the magnesium post and realize just how ill Nicolas was.  I knew he was ill and I remember that post clearly.  Very clearly.  Looking back, it scares me.  Yes, I am frightened to think of what could have been if I had not intervened in our son's life.  

We've made so many changes over the last 2 years, I cannot count them all...

I do plan to add some supplements back, starting in November.  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

GF-CF-CF Mac and Cheese

It's been 2 years since Nicolas has had macaroni and cheese.    I  had given up looking for cheese at least a year ago and had lost hope of ever finding cheese again, that is gluten-free, casein-free and corn-free cheese -- until just the other day...

I found a new cheese at Whole Foods, and by all label appearances --  it looked acceptable.  I was surprised. 

Bought it.  Made it.  The boy loves it!

We've had it 3 times, in small amounts and it seems to be ok.  If we are having reactions, it too hard to tell because Hubs allowed Nicolas to have communion last Sunday.  Why did that man willingly allow havoc on his son's body?  To torture me, apparently.  Oh, yes.  Yes - yes, yes...  we had issues on Monday.

Anyway, back to the glorious cheese!

 Daiya - it's...
  • Cholesterol free
  • Trans Fat free
  • Dairy free
  • Free of all animal products (Vegan)
  • Free of common allergens including:
    • Dairy (casein and lactose), soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts (excluding coconut)
  • Free of Artificial Ingredients
  • Free of Preservatives
  • Free of Hormones & Antibiotics

Here's our macaroni and cheese recipe.  It's delish.  I tried it.  I would voluntarily eat it.  Good stuff.

Mac n Cheese
  • 2 cups cooked Tinkyada pasta, we used spirals
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons Wildtree Butter Flavored Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 fresh, small garlic clove, pressed
  • pinch of lemon  pepper and a pinch of salt
  • 1  cup plain rice milk
  • 1 cup shredded American Daiya Cheese
Cook pasta according to directions.  Do not overcook.
In a saucepan, cook onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and then lemon pepper and salt.
Add rice milk.
Mix and stir well.
Add cheese. Stir until melted.
Stir pasta into cheese.  

Serve immediately with lightly steamed broccoli.   This is a very flavorful buttery/garlicky/cheesy dish and it smells as good as it tastes.  Yum!