Monday, March 7, 2011

Starting Enzymes

We've been having trouble with M grabbing food off the counter or running around at dinner time and stealing food off of other people's plates. It was getting difficult bringing her anywhere because invariably gluten, casein or soy-containing foods would be within her reach and we would have to constantly police her. She would be starting preschool soon and during snack time she would be seeing other little kids eating cheese, crackers, pretzels and bagels. All this plus her behavior has been constantly worse... hyperactive!

So I looked up digestive enzymes and found the book, Enzymes for Autism and Other Neurological Conditions, by Karen DeFelice.
Great book!

I started M on Trienza and No-Fenol digestive enzymes from Houston Pharmaceuticals. Sometimes it's a struggle getting her to eat the chewables. I also use the capsules and mix them with sorbet or freeze the powder into fruit juice ice cubes.

The first few weeks M was sucking her thumb and humming/clicking quite a bit. That has now stopped and we've been on the enzymes for a little over a month now. What I have seen is that she seems to be more aware of her environment. Her eye contact appears to be better. And she is less stimmy. After a couple of weeks on the enzymes with the GFCFSF diet, I slowly started introducing gluten or casein or soy back into her diet. She can now eat a handful of wheat pancakes made with milk, no problem. I haven't seen any behavior issues, except for her getting really goofy after eating a huge bowl of popcorn. It could be the case that corn has been bothering her and now the enzymes are helping her with that. She is now less grabby with food on the counter. She still wants to raid people's plates at dinner if they contain her favorites. We're trying to teach her to say 'more'.

The best part about using the enzymes is that we had dinner at a friend's house the other night and I didn't have to give them the third-degree on all the ingredients in their dinner. We gave M her enzymes and presented her with a full plate of food. What a relief!

(Of course, she snacked on so many rice chips beforehand that she didn't eat much of the dinner -- ha ha!)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Good Waffles

For a while my waffle mixes were sticking to my waffle iron and then pulling apart in the middle. Then I remembered my once-successful recipe and was able to recreate it last weekend. M likes waffles better than pancakes.

1 cup Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Dreams Pancake & Waffle Mix
1 cup whole grain brown rice flour (for some fiber)
1 3/4 cup rice milk
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 egg

Mix well. Drop onto lightly greased hot waffle iron. Time until doneness depends on the iron and your personal taste.

Lemon Tea Cookies

Adapted from a recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. I just made these and they are so good! They hardly taste GFCF.

2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup rice milk

1 3/4 cup GF flour blend
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup margarine (I use Earth Balance Soy Free)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp lemon zest

Stir 2 tsp lemon juice into rice milk and set aside.
Stir together flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy (or well combined). Add egg and lemon zest and beat well.
Add 1/2 flour mixture and 1/2 milk mixture. Beat well.
Add remaining flour and milk mixtures. Beat well.

Drop by large teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet (I use a silpat). Bake in a 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes.
Makes approximately 24. If using convection oven, bake at 325 for 11-12 minutes. Cookies will be cakelike when done.

Lemon Glaze - Stir together 3/4 to 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar with 1/4 cup lemon juice. Spread over tops of cookies.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Cassoulet

We wanted to go out this afternoon but I knew I wanted to have our New Year's beans for dinner tonight. I threw this together based on the cassoulet recipes I found on Epicurious and was able to use most of the meat off the holiday turkey I made two days ago.

New Year's beans is a tradition in our house based on my Aunt Beverly's tradition of having beans every New Year's Day. She believed that having beans on New Year's Day would bring you good monetary fortune for the new year. She never had any reason complain and can't say that I have either.

New Year's Cassoulet
8-10 servings

1 to 2 cups of chopped onion
1/2 - 1 cup chopped celery
1 package small white or Great Northern beans
4 sweet italian sausages, cut into 1-2 inches chunks
1 plateful of roasted turkey, white and dark meat
1 cup chopped ham
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1-2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 - 1 cup sun-dried tomato paste
1 tsp whole peppercorns
6-8 peeled whole garlic cloves
salt to taste

Sort the beans to remove small stones. Rinse beans and then put in a heavy oven-safe pot or dutch oven and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Let sit for an hour or more.

Saute onions and celery in olive oil in a separate pan until translucent and starting to brown. Remove from heat.

Drain and rinse soaked beans, keeping them in the dutch oven. Add all ingredients to pot with beans. Add about 4-6 cups of water so that all ingredients are just covered with liquid. Bring to boil on stovetop. When mixture boils, cover pot and put in a 300 degree oven for 3 to 4 hours. When done, the turkey should be falling apart and the beans tender. I set the cook time feature on my oven and then went out with the family for a sunset walk on the beach. We came home to the most delicious cassoulet. Serve with a salad.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good Gluten-Free Pasta

One of the best rice pastas I've tasted so far:

Lundberg Organic Brown Rice Pasta - Rotini

Found it at Whole Foods.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Breakfast Crepes

These were surprisingly good! Again, all the kids ate them up, as did I. You may have trouble finding this pancake mix but it's worth looking for: Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten Free Dreams Pancake & Waffle Mix

Breakfast Crepes

1 cup pancake mix
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup rice milk

Sift pancake mix into a large bowl. Add two eggs and stir until mixed. Add milk in small portions and whisk until smooth each time. Batter will be very thin. If you have lumps you can strain it through a sieve. Add more milk if batter does not spread thinly in the pan.

Melt a teaspoon of clarified butter in a frying pan. (You can probably use a light olive oil or canola oil instead.) I used a regular uncoated stainless steel frying pan and I didn't get any sticking. Make sure the pan is hot before you start. Add 3 tablespoons of crepe batter to the pan quickly and swirl pan around by the handle to spread the batter into a large thin circle. Flip crepe carefully with a spatula after 20-30 seconds. Another 20-30 seconds and it's done.

Serve with sliced berries, jam, powdered sugar and syrup if you like.

Makes approximately 16 6" round crepes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chicken and Rice Pilaf with Almonds and Currants

This is adapted from a recipe I found on Epicurious. It was easy and delicious.

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion and/or shallots
6-8 chicken parts
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 cups white rice (I used basmati and it was excellent)
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup sliced, toasted almonds
1 tsp mild curry powder (I used Indonesian curry)

Heat oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and brown skin side down for about 5 minutes. Turn with tongs and brown other side. Then cook until no pink is showing on outsides of pieces. Remove chicken to plate and cover with foil. Add onion and garlic to pan and saute until translucent. Deglaze with some of the chicken broth. Add spices, then rice and currants. Add remaining broth and chicken pieces and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook until rice is tender and most liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with almonds.