Dairy and Gluten-Free Mac And Cheese

vegan-mac-cheeseLike most American families, Mac and Cheese was an staple in our diet. And, we have  missed it A LOT since we cut out wheat and dairy. However, my kids never liked a fancy dish baked with breadcrumbs or paprika; they ate organic mac and cheese from a box. And, the Daiya Gluten Free Mac and Cheese from a box, is gross. Once, I created a cashew cheese baked mac and cheese that I enjoyed, but what a waste! My kids spit out the one bite that they tried. In my defense, I didn’t think it was bad! So I worked to find the best tasting no-thrills “box-style” vegan gluten-free recipe! 

In Gluten Free and More Magazine, there was a mac and cheese recipe FromJessicasKitchen.com, in which she used coconut milk, coconut creamer, and vegan mozarella and cheddar to make the sauce. However, her recipe is another fancy dish; so I took her sauce idea, and I changed a lot to make it more like a traditional box dish that my kids would eat. This dish has changed our dinner! They would eat it every day if I let them! 

Noodles

  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 box gluten-free pasta shells

Ingredients for Sauce

img_9615

Directions

  1. First, prepare your noodles. Boil water, add pasta shells, and cook according to the lowest time provided on the box, because gluten-free noodles are often mushy.
  2. To start the sauce, melt the 4 tablespoons vegan butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add coconut milk, coconut creamer and Redmond’s Real Salt. Stir the mixture frequently until it begins to boil; watch carefully so that it doesn’t come to a full boil.
  4. In a small boil, combine cornstarch, almond flour, and water. Stir until it is smooth.img_9617
  5. Pour cornstarch mixture into the milk mixture, and increase the heat to medium high. Whisk for 1 minute. 
  6. Reduce heat to medium low, and whisk until the cheese thicken to a pudding-like consistency. (approximately 2 minutes)
  7. Add the vegan cheddar and mozzarella. Whisk constantly for approximately 3 – 5 minutes until cheese is melted and smooth. img_9624
  8. Drain the pasta, and add it to the cheese sauce.
  9. Mix gently until pasta is evenly coated.
  10. Salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Serve and enjoy! My kids ate it up and I admit, it was delicious!!! img_9631logo-small

Sweet & Spicy Peppers In a Taco Bowl (Paleo)

We were leaving out of town, and I was trying to avoid going to the grocery store. We didn’t have much in the fridge, but whatever we had – I wanted to use up! Then, I got an idea after looking at these 2 gorgeous green peppers – taco bowls! I was out of fresh lime, but I had Young Living Lime Essential Oil, so at least it didn’t stop me from making dinner! 

First, start your rice. I selected an organic short grain that I cooked with veggie stock instead of water to add extra flavor. Next, pick your protein; I put a can of organic black beans in a small pan, and turned it on low. A pack of organic bison is great, to include an easy tasty lean protein; feel free to sub any protein to make it vegan. Personally, I like Beyond Meat in this recipe. It sounds like a cliché, but you will NOT know that it’s not from an animal. It’s only available here in St. Louis at Whole Foods, and it’s made of pea protein.

The Best Taco Meat EVER

  • 1 lb bison or lean beef (organic grass-fed preferred) or Beyond Meat for a great vegan option
  • ½ packet of Taco Seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce (I used Kirkland’s from Costco)
  • 1 tablespoon organic blue agave syrup
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic

Directions:

  1. Brown your meat in a large pan. Drain the fat, if you’re using beef or bison. You may want to use an non-stick spray or add a little avocado or olive oil to the pan if you are using the Beyond Meat, because it can have a tendency to stick.
  2. Add in the taco seasoning, tomato sauce, and blue agave syrup.
  3. Keep the heat on low and let it simmer.

I got this idea of including agave syrup from my favorite chef Erin Thero! It’s the key to creating a spicy and sweet mix.

While I was waiting for my meat to brown, I prepared my peppers…

Sweet & Spicy Peppers & Onions

*options: I love garlic. If I add 1 clove of garlic in this recipe, then I use 1 full lime or 6 drops of Young Living Lime Essential Oil

Directions:

  1. Slice your peppers and onions long and thin
  2. Coat the 3 tablespoons avocado oil in a medium skillet on medium high
  3. Sauté the onions and the peppers
  4. Add the taco seasoning, salt, and Young Living Lime Essential Oil (or a couple slices of fresh lime)
  5. Continue to sauté the peppers until they are tender, but slightly crisp.
  6. Stir in the blue agave syrup and remove into a bowl so that they don’t overcook.img_9192

Pretty much this dish works with any pepper!img_9470-update
I plated the bowls with scoops of beans, rice, meat, peppers & onions, and avocado.Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream, Non-Hydrogenated Plain is my personal favorite addition. I also served it with organic blue corn tortilla chips to add a little crunch. This bowl is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet!img_9197

If you haven’t cooked with Young Living Essential Oils, you should. Message me about them, because you will love the flavor that they add to veggies!

logo-small

Save

The Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce

I am a chocolate fanatic, and this chocolate sauce has inspired so many of my desserts; you can even use it to make hot chocolate or put a scoop in your coffee for a homemade mocha! It is quick, easy and delicious.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Sauce

Directions

  1. Melt vegan butter over medium low heat in a saucepan.
  2. Add vegan chocolate chips and stir until incorporated and smooth.
  3. Add pure maple syrup and slowly add evaporated coconut milk.
  4. Bring to a boil and stir frequently; reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 8 minutes.
  5. Continue to stir while it bubbles.
  6. Remove from heat, and store in a glass jar for several weeks in the refrigerator.IMG_9444.JPG

I used this chocolate sauce to create a Dairy and Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Boston Creme CakeDulce De Leche Chocolate Cashew Pie (Vegan & Gluten-Free) and a Chocolate Dulce De Leche Hot Fudge Cake! Yummy!!!

FYI – If you refrigerate this is, it will be a thick spreadable chocolate – similar to a “Nutella” texture. However, it quickly returns it to a liquid form in the microwave.

 

logo-small

Vegan Dulce de Leche

During my study abroad in Argentina, I was obsessed with dulce de leche; I would eat it on bananas, ice cream, and biscuits. If you don’t know what it is, it is a very thick, sweetened milk. If you want to drool – google a “torta de mil hojas.” I might be talented enough with my gluten-free vegan baking to recreate that cake one day.

This dulce de leche will take 45 minutes. It is not a difficult task, but it takes patience; so take your time, and it will be worth it!

Vegan Dulce de Leche

Once, I attempted to make caramel sauce with coconut cream and maple syrup with no luck. Then, I found Nature’s Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk; I bought it at Fresh Thyme. They also sell it on Amazon. It thickens greatly in this dulce de leche, and is divine!

screen-shot-2017-01-20-at-9-21-07-pm

Ingredients

  • 1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tablespoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

Directions

  1. Combine the sweetened condensed coconut milk & maple syrup in a small saucepan. The maple syrup will make it a slightly tan color.
  2. Stir over medium-high heat just until it starts to boil. Do not let it boil over, and remove from heat if necessary.img_9409  
  3. Add 1 ½ tablespoon gluten-free vanilla.
  4. As you see it start to combine, remove it from heat, and add ½ teaspoon baking soda.
  5. Mix well, and place back on the stove.
  6. Reduce to low heat or a setting that will allow for a gentle simmer.
  7. Stir the dulce de leche approximately every ten minutes for the next 30 minutes until it looks darker and thicker.  
  8. When it becomes a darker golden color, start stirring it every 5 minutes.img_9413
  9. When it becomes thicker, and an even darker golden color, test it to see if it’s done.IMG_9414.JPG
  10. Pour a spoonful onto a plate and run the back of the spoon through the middle of the dulce de leche.  If the dulce de leche does not come together, then it’s done!IMG_9427.JPG
  11. It makes ~8 ounces. Scoop it into a couple of jars, and use it on ice cream, bananas, apples, or cakes. I’ll be sharing a Dairy and Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Boston Creme Cake, a Chocolate Dulce De Leche Hot Fudge Cake, and a No Churn Vegan Chocolate Dulce de Leche Ice Cream soon!IMG_9437.JPG

logo-small

Day 3 – Roma

After our late arrival to the meeting, we headed to see the Colosseum and the Forum. img_0295img_0297We stumbled across Gustando Roma, and I had some spaghetti. I felt like a kid eating noodles and sauce. I need to research what makes their simple noodles taste not so simple! I also ordered a lemonade. It was obviously fresh-squeezed, but when I got the bill it was 10 euros! It was as much as my spaghetti!!! People are crazy.

IMG_0317.jpg

IMG_0323.jpgWe met outside of the Wedding Cake and did a guided walking tour of the Forum. The Forum was originally built by Julius Caesar to address overcrowding in older public spaces, and was “discovered” during Mussolini’s reign when he ordered the construction of the Via dei Fori Imperiali, which would connect the Colosseum to the Piazza Venezia. img_0362

img_0348

img_0388img_0391img_0409img_0419img_0423img_0435img_0436img_0447img_0456

img_0482img_0488img_0494img_0496img_0499img_0497Then we headed to the Colosseum. I was just amazed at how it has been standing since 72 A.D. Marble is strong. I learned (1) there is an aqueduct below and they did naval battles there, (2) 1 million people lived in Rome at this time, (3) it was built by 10,000 slaves, and (4) the ground was made of sand to soak up the blood (ewwwww…)

img_0503

img_0504img_0508img_0552

img_0550

Former bleachers where people sat

img_0535

img_0540img_0541img_0553

 

img_0278img_0285After our tour, we had free time, so we headed to the Ancient Theatre, and the Jewish District. img_0565img_0563img_0574img_0579

img_0581

synagogue

I was a little hungry (go figure), so we tried Sheva, a little restaurant that offered a wine tasting that came with a meat and cheese plate for 10 euros; they were kind enough to make me a salad instead. I was a little hidden gem! Then, everyone enjoyed a delicious tiramisu, and again – I didn’t have any. Boo.img_0599IMG_0594.jpgIMG_0597.jpg

 

Since I was deprived of tiramisu, I was determined to find more gelato. This place declared theirs to be homemade, and it certainly tasted like it! I had the strawberry and dark chocolate orange. I wished I would have had just two scoops of the dark chocolate instead. It was delicious.img_0607

We headed back to the Piazza Popolo and shopped along the way. I bought souvenirs for Weston (he’s been loving his race-track lately so I got him a Ferrari hot wheels), and a little bracelet for Eiley. I couldn’t help it. I missed them!!!

From there we went to a group dinner at Trattoria. IMG_0628.jpg

Here is where I made a mistake – yet again. I need to stop trying to offend people, and just say what I want. My friends are probably shocked that I have the ability to actually keep my mouth shut! The dinner was included for everyone with the tour, but they had different dishes planned for me. It started off well with this zucchini and eggplant appetizer.IMG_0635.jpg

Next, they served me a smoked salmon; it was cold. I just couldn’t. Carmen and another friend said how great it was. Maybe it’s a texture or fish taste…regardless, after my fiasco with cold seafood salad yesterday – no gracias! I didn’t want to be offensive, but I was starving. Instead, they gave me a salad with an apple for dessert.

I came back to the hotel at 10:30 pm to eat another pasta dish with tomatoes. They even had gluten, dairy and egg free bread. Amazing!IMG_0650.jpg

img_0652

My lesson for Spain when I go in June is: (1) I need to say no when I really cannot eat something. I know it’s hard serving me at a restaurant. It makes me feel like a pain, and although I try to eat whatever they say is safe (for my stomach’s sake) – I have to draw the line and stop worrying about offending people. (2) Keep nut and protein bars in my purse at all times!

In the end, Rome was beautiful! I will definitely come back one day.

logo-small

Day 2 – Roma

We had training in Saturday morning with EF Tours. I woke up exhausted, but luckily after a quick-lunch and a trip to the Vatican – I was energized! It was probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

For lunch we went to Tradizione & Fantasia; it was near where we were supposed to meet our group, and we saw some other teachers inside eating pizza.

img_9906

I wish I would have made a better selection. The eggplant, spinach, and zucchini dish sautéed with olive oil and garlic was yummy; if I would have had three plates of them, I might have been full.img_9903

I ordered a gluten-free pasta with mushrooms – since the mushrooms the day before were so delicious. Well, 25 minutes later, the waitress informed me that the pasta had eggs. Boo. So she recommended the sea food salad. It was not my cup of tea. The salad itself was delicious, but cold octopus, fish, squid, and musels made me want to gag. Blah. This is what I got for being adventurous, and trying to avoid getting sick. Nevertheless, I picked out the seafood, put on some DiGize (it is a must for traveling!), and headed to the Vatican. Soon after I felt better, and I forgot about that nasty cold seafood on my plate.

img_9904

Although I’m Christian, I’m not Catholic, and I didn’t think that I would have loved the Vatican as much as I did. I stood staring at the beautiful marble statues, artifacts, history, gold tapestries, architecture, and paintings for 4 hours. I was always the last one behind the group.

img_9933

 

img_0057img_0043

img_0040

 

img_0032

img_9964

 

img_9996

img_0022

img_0019img_0026img_0002

img_0064

img_0068

img_0078

img_0083

Threads of gold

img_0084

img_0073

img_0097img_0095img_0090

I can’t explain the awe that I felt in the Sistine Chappel, and a deep respect for Michelangelo – not only for his incredible talent, but also for the physical suffering that he must have endured in his body (especially his neck and back) for his faith and passion for art. He really earned his reputation. How did he paint 399 people in that ceiling in only 4 years? Just insane. I don’t have any images of it, because photos aren’t allowed.

From the Sistine Chappel, we moved outside and then went into St. Peter’s Basilica.

img_0100-1

img_0150img_0156img_0169img_0171img_0179img_0184

img_0187

img_0186

img_0189

After our tour, we went to the Vatican Shops, and I picked up a Papa Fransisco (Pope Francis) card and coin for my sweet friend. She has a picture of the Pope in her Spanish classroom; once a student asked her about the photo – and she replied, “It’s culture! He’s Argentine!” I also got a little necklace for my daughter; hopefully she likes it.

For dinner we explored on our own, and came across Vitti. img_0240img_0221I loved the decor – reminded me of a typical European movie. img_0225img_0235The waiters were sweet and so accommodating with my allergies. I asked what was the safest thing for me to eat – and he said steak is the only thing they guarantee to be safe and not cross-contaminated. Done. Here’s my take – these carrots were steamed and plain, but I know how to add salt. The salad was good (I love how Italians do natural olive and vinegar instead of our processed dressing); the steak was very filling, a little fatty, but sometimes that gives meat more flavor. I was starving. Presentation was a lacking…

img_0230

I wish I could have tried some of the desserts. One was a cheesecake with apples at the base and raspberries on top. I might try to steal their idea and make them dairy, egg, and gluten free!

img_0239

After the dinner we explored the city; we checked out little stores with beautiful purses and shoes, and ordered gelato. I have to say Wonderful Ice Cream lived up to its name. Since I was torn between both the dark chocolate and the mango – I got both. A medium was not enough; I should have gotten a large. It was amazing!

img_0245

IMG_0244.jpgWhile walking the streets on the way to the Piazza Popolo, we met some other teachers from our Tour Group. They were eating gelato as well. The guys in the shop were telling me that their gelato was better than Wonderful Ice Cream’s. So they had me do a taste test with their dark chocolate. I have to say, Wonderful Ice Cream won. Sorry. Although, I couldn’t have the candy bar ones…img_0247

img_0246

That night Carmen and I came together in solidarity to relax; I turned on 10 hours of relaxing rain sounds from YouTube to block out any snoring (sometimes I talk too in my sleep) and put a couple drops of Cedarwood on my feet. We also applied some Cypress and Panaway to our low-back and neck. (If you haven’t tried these oils, message me, and I will show you what you are missing! They are a must have for traveling!) The discomfort from looking up at the Vatican’s ceilings was worth it though. When Michelangelo painted ceilings, you will take the back tightness gladly that comes after a half a day at the Vatican of staring upwards.

However, I would have splurged for a decent bed if I had been given the opportunity to do so; they were sooooo hard. Would you rather have a mattress that’s too hard or sagging in the middle? Decisions decisions… Let’s just say it wasn’t a Marriott.

In the end, whatever we did – it worked too well. We overslept, and missed an hour of our Sunday morning meeting! Agh!!!! It made me think of what we called the “walk of shame” back at Ole Miss – watching college girls walk down fraternity row at 9 am on a Sunday in their clothes from the night before. I felt awful, doing my “walk of shame” into that meeting, but at the same time I was very rested. Lesson learned – maybe I don’t need the rain noise up that loud!

logo-small

Day 1 – Roma

After a very long flight, we arrived at the airport. There, I learned 5 very important things: (1) The phrase “Gluten Free” is universal, (2) uovo is egg, (3) latteria is dairy, (4) cappuccino de soya gets you a very great cup, and (5) not everyone speaks Spanish or English.

Let me tell you, I needed that cappuccino – I drenched myself in Dream Catcher, and took a Benedryl in order to make sure I rested at least a little on the plane. Yesterday was a long day…15975137_10154099456871283_7453963731543203390_o

We headed out-of-town to our Hotel Capannelle, settled in, and then, started exploring in the rain. We searched for this little hardware store in a neighborhood so that I could get a converter for 5.60 Euros. I seemed to have taken the right converter out of the suitcase, and included all the wrong ones instead. I have never even been to China, but somehow that converter was in my suitcase. I really couldn’t believe it. Ugh. On the way back to the hotel, we found a hidden gem – a restaurant named Hostaria Antico Lotto (Vino e Cucina). It was what I’d except to see in Italy, the decorations, food, etc. IMG_9691.jpgimg_9692 That’s my friend Carmen!

img_9694

Our blonde waiter was adorable; he gave us a little Italian lesson (I learned to count to 10), was so patient with our lack of Italian, and asked the chef what he could make me given my allergies. We started with an antipasto (a base of olive oil, prosciutto, olives, and spring mix), and they even surprised me with gluten-free crackers! They didn’t look as fabulous as my friend Carmen’s homemade bread, but I was delighted. The olives were harder than I expected, but no pits in side. img_9695

They had a gluten-free spaghetti, and recommended a spaghetti dish with olive oil, garlic, parsley, a tiny bit of green onion, and clams. I said, thank you! It was so simple, but delicious.img_9699

At this point, we were too stuffed for dessert, but he brought me two dark chocolates (chocolotina) and two homemade biscotti for my friend; the plate was lightly decorated with ground pistachios and peanuts. We made room for a little more, before having to go meet our EF Tour group.img_9702 Soon we headed to the Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. img_9720

img_9746img_9730IMG_9756.jpgimg_9740img_9739I love all the architectural details on the buildings.IMG_9788.jpgimg_9791img_9793-1

img_0294img_0314img_9910img_9927img_9923

img_9761

I took pictures of doors, because I LOVE taking pictures of doors. Is that weird?! img_9752img_9768img_9932img_9800

img_9805

Since the Pantheon (from 2007 BC) was converted into a church, it was adorned with beautiful art work and statues.

img_9807img_9799

IMG_9810.jpgimg_9814-1

img_9815-1

img_9822-1img_9840We stood for a while and listened to a man sing opera in front of the Pantheon. What a beautiful voice!

For dinner, we headed to the Faciolaro for a dinner included with our EF Tour. IMG_9854.jpg

By then, I discovered that most places have gluten-free pasta. They made me a very simple gluten free pasta, with olive oil, garlic and mushrooms. I didn’t know mushrooms could taste this succulent, and the pasta was the highlight of my dinner. img_9846For the next course, they brought me a chicken breast with olive oil and garlic, olive oil and garlic potatoes, and a simple salad with olive oil and vinegar. Good thing I love olive oil and garlic! img_9849For dessert, they brought me two very sweet slices of melon. I was slightly jealous of everyone’s tiramisu; I wished they had offered a vegan gluten free one!img_9851

We walked under a full moon back to the bus, and I admired the charming displays in front of the restaurants; sweet touches that you don’t see in the United States.img_9859

img_9853img_9856-1img_0642img_0625

img_0618

Veggie Hash

Eggs were a staple in my diet, but they were causing my non-stop bloating and gut pain. So, while I miss their taste, I don’t miss how they made me feel. When I want a big breakfast on the weekend or a healthy dinner at night – this is an easy way to incorporate a lot of veggies into my diet and they oddly fulfill my desire for eggs. I can’t explain why it makes me not miss eggs – I think because sometimes I just want a filling breakfast and this dish hits the spot. The essential oils (or fresh herbs) make this dish delicious.

Ingredients

  • Perfect Sliced Potatoes (you will need to make this dish as the base for your veggies)
  • 2 white mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of asparagus (pick the thin asparagus, not the thicker ones)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 shallots (or 1 large onion)
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 Roma tomato or a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil and / or avocado oil
  • 5 drops Basil Young Living Essential Oil ( 2.5 – 3 tablespoons fresh, 2.5 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 drops  Young Living Sage Essential Oil (1/2 teaspoon dried, 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • 1 drop Young Living Rosemary Essential Oil  (1/2 teaspoon dried, 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • Meat if desired (can be bacon, sausage, vegan meat: see my dish on coconut bacon)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Ketchup (optional)

Veggie Hash

  1. Clean  veggies. I like to clean them with Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak to avoid chemicals.
  2. Prepare your bacon (to make it vegan make coconut bacon) and / or sausage. If you are going to make this with bacon, put it on a cookie sheet, and bake it on the oven for 15 minutes for 425. To include the sausage, start cooking it as well in a small pan.
  3. Prepare the Perfect Sliced Potatoes.
  4. Prepare the asparagus by snapping off the ends of the asparagus; where it naturally breaks, is how you know what to use and what to pitch. Throw the ends in a compost or the trash. Snap the asparagus in half again.
  5. Chop the vegetables.
  6. Heat 3 tablespoons olive or avocado oil in the pan (I like avocado oil because it is great at a high heat), or if you used bacon, you can use the bacon grease from the cookie sheet. Pull the bacon from the oven, pour the grease on the pan, and put the bacon back in the oven to cook.
  7. Sauté all vegetables on medium high heat (except the tomatoes), and add essential oils / herbs.
  8. Sauté until tender but not mushy (~8 – 10 minutes).
  9. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, just before the vegetables are tender, toss in the tomatoes cook them for 1 minutes with the rest of the veggies.
  10. Layer the Perfect Sliced Potatoes at the bottom of the bowl, top with vegetables, and sprinkle the bacon and / or sausage on top if you desire.veggie-hash
  11. I have made this for friends that aren’t vegan or allergic, and I topped the entire dish with a fried egg for them 🙂

logo-small

Spraying Your Sinus

Everywhere I go right now, I am surrounded by coughing congested people – it makes me want to slathering them with Breathe Again and buy them a NeilMed. When people talk about a Neti Pot, I think – YUCK. I hate the weird tilt that you have to do with your head. Anyway, what everyone should be talking about is NeilMed, because it cleans out nasal passages much better than a Neti Pot, and you don’t have to awkwardly tilt your head.

What is a NeilMed? It’s a squeeze bottle with a plastic tip for easy insertion into your nostril so that you can do a saline rinse. You can buy it at a pharmacy, Wal-Mart or Target for ~$10 for a starter kit or ~$13 for the complete kit that has 50 packets of saline solution packets. The complete kit is worth it.screen-shot-2017-01-08-at-6-42-35-am

How can saline nasal irrigation help you?

  1. If you have allergies, the saline solution can flush out allergens that you might have inhaled during the day. It’s great for maintenance.
  2. If you have a sinus infection, the saline solution can help wash out bacteria from your nasal passages. It’s cleaning out the bacteria that builds up and creates inflammation, congestion, and pain. 
  3. The saline solution helps moisturize your sinus membranes, therefore soothing these membranes, reducing swelling, and pain. By reducing inflammation, it makes it easier for you to breathe.
  4. The saline solution helps flush out mucus and stop post-nasal drip. That means you don’t have to swallow all that nasty snot that runs down the back of your throat. Delightful description, I know…

How do you use a NeilMed?

  1. Fill the squeeze bottle with purified water up to the line at the top of the bottle. I read this article once that talked about the small chance that parasites that can be in tap water and go into the brain when we use Neti Pots or NeilMeds. Why risk that?IMG_9525.jpg
  2. Another thing that is great about NeilMed is that you can put it in the microwave to warm up the water in 10 second increments. You want the water warm, but not hot. It can burn your sinuses if it’s too hot or cold.
  3. Add the saline solution to the water in the NeilMed. I also like to add a drop of Young Living Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils to give the solution a kick; these two oils soothe your skin, and Tea Tree is also known for its cleansing properties. It feels weird saying that you need to soothe the skin in your nasal passages, but it helps so much! 
  4. Get some tissue ready and stand in an upright position over the sink.
  5. Insert the black tip into your nostril, and squeeze only half of the water in the bottle. The saline solution will go up one nostril and come out the other.
  6. Blow your nose, and repeat with the other nostril using the remaining saline solution.
  7. Obviously, you cannot breathe through your nose while doing this. However, you can breathe through your mouth, but I try not to. If some goes into your mouth, spit it into the sink, but this happens much less with NeilMed than Neti Pot.
  8. Empty the remaining water from the Neilmed, and clean the squeeze bottle.
  9. I do this once a day when my allergies are bothering me, but if I’m struggling with sinus – then I do it once in the morning and at night before bed.

img_9518Tip: do not use regular table salt with the NeilMed. I cannot describe the discomfort it causes…

logo-small

The Perfect Sliced Potatoes

When I got the results of my wheat, egg and dairy allergy, I thought – how will I eat breakfast without a cheese omelette?! Well, the answer is a good potato. It is a great base for a load of veggies; it tastes amazing as a side dish for dinner, like with ketchup and a burger. It is a homemade and healthier way to fulfill my craving for french fries. I miss being able to go to a restaurant and have a side of fries, but if I succumb to temptation then my stomach and head will pay the price (I don’t need a migraine for days!). Cross contamination kills me. So, I make these sliced potatoes instead.

The Perfect Sliced Potatoes

You can find my dish about cooking with oils here. The oils add a savory flavor with these potatoes, and you don’t have to worry about having fresh herbs on the counter.

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425
  2. Clean the potatoes – I put them in a bowl of water with the Thieves Fruit & Veggie Soak in order to clean them naturally without chemicals
  3. Chop the onion or shallot
  4. Smash the garlic with the flat part of a knife, and finely chop it
  5. Spread the potatoes on a large cookie sheet
  6. Evenly distribute the onion / shallot over the potatoes
  7. Pour the ¼ cup olive oil in a liquid measuring cup; add the garlic and herbs / drops of the Sage, Basil and Rosemary Essential Oils.
  8. Pour oil mixture over your potatoes
  9. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes – I like mine a little crunchy.
  10. Remove from the pan and salt and pepper to tasteimg_9007
  11. Serve with ketchup if desired or use as a base for a veggie hash. I’ll share this dish soon!IMG_9091.JPGlogo-small