What is it?
|Courtesy of Primalpalate.com|
|JERF “Just Eat Real Food”|
1 Corinthians 6:19 “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”
|Courtesy of Primalpalate.com|
|JERF “Just Eat Real Food”|
Always be creative with what you’ve been given.
I love food, obviously, and personally it doesn’t matter if I am making it for myself, or someone else, it is always enjoyable. Giving and serving people with my food over the years has become almost like my way of making sure everyone is happy and getting the most out of their life. If somebody had told me that, by the age of 14 I would be sick in bed going to various doctors, I most likely would have been ten times more adventurous and appreciative of everything going on around me. It is not to say that I was a boring individual, however, when everything is taken away in life, you realize how good you truly had it. I am sure that most of you reading this can understand what I mean. We tend to trudge through our days apathetically, wishing something exciting would happen. In reality, every moment of life, especially when in true health, is a blessing. This however, is something that is sorely taken advantage of. Most people don’t get what it means to appreciate every little thing or detail in life, until they are on their death bed or told they only have a few months to live. When we experience these eye opening moments, our minds go into overdrive, trying to see if we have checked off as many things on our bucket lists as planned. However, enjoying life does not always have to be from these mountain top events, but also can be in the small day to day things. One way that we can do this is by finding something we love in our life, regardless of if it is easy or not, and make the best of it. For me, this is working in the kitchen. Not only does it give me gratification, but those who are receiving end up with satisfied stomachs and a smile on their face. Starting a blog seemed to be just another way that I could reach people with my talent and passion. “Beyond the Bite” is a reference to about three different things, all of which come together as one. Not only is my blog about getting beyond the tick bite and fighting chronic lyme and its numerous complications, but it is also about addressing the fact that what you eat does effect your body in different ways, regardless of your health. My third mission of Beyond the Bite is to show others that eating in a way that’s different from the standard American diet can be just as fun, and if anything, more interesting and satisfying regardless of if it is “health food.” This reference of simply getting beyond the mental block of eating something you think you won’t like because its ingredients are foreign, is where today’s recipe stemmed from.
Like I said earlier, though I cannot eat sweets, baking them for others does not bother me one bit. I am not tempted to eat things that harm my body, and I got over long ago of feeling deprived. Of course I have my moments when I feel so awful that I wish I could just forget it all and eat anything I wanted. However, I do not let this way of thinking ruin my attitude towards my situation, nor let it take me away from enjoying and embracing the few foods my body can tolerate. That being said, I do occasionally make “normal” baked goods full of wheat, cane sugar, and dairy. However, most times I like to make things that trick even my 15 year old brother into thinking he’s eating “junk food.” There have been many successful attempts, all of which I like to capture on Instagram. Through my experience and various experiments with “alternative” cooking, I have come to learn the science behind making something worth eating. For me, if something is not tasty or the texture not right, then there is no use in wasting what I call “my allergy” on it. So, though I cannot eat thumbprint cookies, my friends and family can, both of which loved the treat before I even told them the ingredients. The difference between my recipe and normal thumbprint cookies? They feature wholesome ingredients that will not leave a pit in your stomach, nor make your blood sugar drop a hour later. In reality, you could have them in place of a meal, or right a long with one if that is your thing (my parents has been having them with their morning of eggs and bacon). You will notice that I do not title my recipes as “paleo,” even though 90% of them are. This is because 1. Paleo means a diet in most peoples minds, 2. Diets mean restriction, and 3. Restriction means no fun, or in this case, flavor. Therefore, instead of telling people I made super healthy cookies that are guilt free, gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free (all of which make you think of anything BUT a cookie), I first let them experience the deliciousness for themselves. In the end, everyone who has tried these cookies has been quite surprised, and could care less of their ingredients because they are so dang good. I say this simple way of cooking and baking is how everything we eat should be. Out with the processed foods with labels that sport a list of over 50 ingredients, and in with food that IS the ingredient list. It is time for people to realize that real food, is truly good food.
|Apricot, Strawberry, and Blueberry Jam|
|A few favorites|
|Homemade almond butter|
|Recipe variations and flavors|
Hemp Seed Butter
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
This coming week is my 18th birthday. As a family tradition, my mother has always made a special birthday dinner for whomever’s birthday it is. Growing up, I absolutely loved local geese fajitas with sauteed peppers and onions, using the wild game that my father retrieved with our bird dogs. Not only did I whole heartedly enjoy them for dinner, but also cold the day after, which in my opinion may even be tastier. Other meals that my family requests of my mother include linguine and clam sauce, enchiladas, chicken caesar salads, and fish tacos with pan-fried striped bass from the Cape. From scratch, homemade food, has always been my mother’s thing. Though some people think this way of life is too “inconvenient,” it is truly the not-so-hidden secret behind all of her dishes. Therefore, whatever we wanted on our birthday, my mother was always in the kitchen ready to tackle it. Not only was (and still is) dinner always homemade and delicious, but desserts by my mother have always been exceptional. An example would be my 12th birthday, when I promptly told my mother I wanted an ice cream cake like I had at all my friend’s birthday parties. Instead of going to Price Chopper or Dairy Queen to buy a pre-made cake ladened with chemicals and artificial dies, my mother literally made the entire thing herself. Though the girls at my party may not have appreciated it very much, I sure did, and still wish going back and snapping a few pictures before devouring it was an option. Whether a molded cake of Thomas the Tank Engine, Poo Bear, Veggie Tales, or simply a rich chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and raspberry jam filling, my mother knows her stuff! It is from her that my passion and love for being in the kitchen has come. I would never have been able to cook without a cookbook, bake without a noted baking time, or keep a clean kitchen while working, if hadn’t been for my mother’s guidance throughout my childhood. Growing up means lots of changes, which in my case included becoming ill, much to my families surprise. Therefore, as you can imagine, birthday dinners became harder for my mother to come up with. Not because I am not eating, but because of the limited list of foods I can tolerate, which makes finding something special, that I haven’t eaten in the past few days, hard. That being said, she has not ever given up on making something different or exciting for me throughout my sickness, and for that I thank her dearly.
Today’s recipe was created out of an attempt to satisfy my craving for pad thai last August on my birthday. Though the original dish and this version are absolutely nothing alike, my creation was able to fulfill my bodies desire for what it perceived as a bowl full of yummy noodles. Growing up, I always had a thing for Chinese, Japanese, or any “Asian” food. Going out to sushi with the family, heating up rice noodle bowls from Whole Foods for lunch, or having an “everything but the kitchen sink” stir fry for dinner, were all regular occurrences in my early childhood. That being said, pad thai became the dish I would order, compare, and rate at most restaurants that served it. Some were mediocre, while others (mainly in NYC) were pretty authentic. If you ever get a chance, visit Pok Pok in Brooklyn, NY , they are incredible! Though my recipe may not be deemed legitimate, it is still packed full of flavor. Free of any grains, I turned vegetables into the noodles, and frankly, no one realized what they were even eating. My older brother, the hater of all things squash, was slightly disturbed after I wrote down the recipe for him, though he still loved it nonetheless. Because no one else in my family eats fully Paleo, they had their stir fry on top of rice, however, having it as is will definitely leave you satisfied without the carb load. If you don’t have a good source of shrimp, the photo above can testify that using chicken is just as tasty! The recipe itself serves 4-6 people easily, depending on if it is your only main dish.
Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”
For the second part of this post, I wanted to share with you a quick and simple recipe, that can be made for any meal of the day! This dish passes even the pickiest of eaters (Aka my 14 year old brother), who claims he hates, “all forms of squash and greens.” The key is dicing everything small, while adding fresh basil, in which you can hide the fact that there are additional leafy greens.
Paleo Pizza Frittata
Alternatively, you can top your frittata with any chopped or shredded cheese of your choice (Blue, cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, brie, pecorino).
Depending on what produce you have stocked in your fridge can also determine what veggies you use, do not let my recipe limit your imagination! As always, the possibilities are endless, let your taste buds guide your work!
There comes a time in life where we all think back on the “what ifs.” Whether it has to do with silly things, or major events, you will notice that when looking back, everything always leads up to where you are at the present moment. If some of those seemingly insignificant incidents had never occurred, or even had been slightly altered, chances are your life would be a lot different. When it comes to the small things like deciding to take a different road to work, only to find out there was an accident on your normal route, it is easy for us to look back and go “oh yeah! Now I know why that happened!” However, when if it is an event ending in disaster or a quote on quote “tragedy,” we tend to ignore looking backwards to see how it is shaping our future, and instead get stuck on how it has ruined everything. We all have these moments of despair and uncertainty, including myself.
Somedays I get ornery at my family, moody at our dogs, or mad because nothing seems to be going right. Either I am fed up with my body causing me discomfort, or I am simply sick of being at a standstill in my illness. In effort to make me feel better, some people tend to tell me they wish things were different, or that I had never gotten sick. As I have said in previous posts, sympathy can make me feel uncomfortable because, even though I may be down for the moment, I wouldn’t change my life for a million bucks. This may sound slightly odd, as eating fish for breakfast, being bed ridden, literally drinking oil for extra calories, getting stuck with a needle every week, waiting in doctor’s offices weekly, and not being able to “go out,” is anything but ideal for any teenager. Before I got sick, it seemed I had everything in life going for me. Excelling in hobbies such as piano and tennis, getting superb grades in school, and having a blast with friends and family, were all part of God’s blessings on my early childhood. Yet if you were to ask me if I could change any of my past events leading up to my illness, I would whole heartedly say no. In fact, though everything familiar was stripped away as time went on, the answer to this question is not something I have ever had to think twice about. Of course I miss my old activities, being able to give my parents the breaks they need, or even helping out with the chores around the house. If you are a teenager reading this you probably won’t understand, however, being sick for a long time will do that to someone. Carrying beach chairs, washing the car, and dusting the despised baseboard all become things you yearn to do. That being said, my illness is still something I would not change. Without it, I would not be where I am today, and that is a fact. The greatest testament to this truth is how I have learned what I truly enjoy in life. Helping and serving others, learning science and health information, cooking and baking, and anything else to do with food, have all become a major part of my life. If I had stayed healthy, who knows where I would be. Though my life before hand was not in any way bad or destructive, I am not sure how I would ever had grown to be the person I am today. Everyone has to go through some sort of trial or event to shape them into what they are to become. Sometimes it seems small, sometimes it is big, but either way it is ultimately bringing you one step closer to becoming who you were meant to be. Don’t go around wishing you could change past events, but instead embrace the journey they are taking you on, and realize you are lucky it happened in the first place. If our circumstances around us never changed, we would never learn, grow, mature, thrive, meet new people, or go different places. In the end, life without alterations would not be a life at all.
A part of my life that I know would be much different if I had not become ill, is the differing relationships that I would encounter. Not only have many people and acquaintances dropped out of my life, but I have also had the privilege of meeting some rather extraordinary individuals. One of these people is my friend Audrea (the girl behind A Bountiful Blessing) who just so happens to be into health and nutrition just as much as I am. Not only do we connect over food, family, and God, but also on the little day to day things, making a close friendship with her that much easier. Most teenagers, and adults for that matter, are not comfortable around someone who has a chronic illness. They do not know how to handle the altered situation, or how to talk to them like any other human being with interests and feelings. However, being with Audrea is anything but strenuous. Not only does she always know how to be an encouragement, but she treats me like a “normal person,” yet without forgetting that I am actually sick and need caring for. Throughout the years, it seemed as though I would never meet someone who understood me, or my illness, so well. We may come from practically opposite backgrounds, but the end result of these different childhoods has led us both to a friendship I for one wouldn’t change for the world!
Just last week, Audrea celebrated her birthday and, as a friend of hers, I of course wanted to make something special out it. Because she too eats paleo, and is experimenting with Low FODMAP, I knew having any type of birthday treat would be far and few in between. For myself, birthday cake first turned into an Edible Arrangement, and the next year a baked chicken wing (not kidding). Funny enough, letting go the very act of blowing out candles on my birthday was, and still is, about ten times harder than not having cake itself. That being said, throughout the past few years, I have researched, experimented, and racked my brain for some way to make a birthday cake that my body could handle. Most paleo recipes are either ladened with nuts, use eggs as a binder, or simply contain too many coconut products, all in which I cannot eat well. However, this all changed in the past year when I started cooking with plantains. Whether sweet or savory, they never disappoint, and seem to make the best paleo dishes out there! Because I cannot eat sugar (for many reason), and Audrea is trying to avoid it for the time being, I used chicory root as the sweetener. As the root of which endive and radicchio grow, chicory in the form of granules is also brewed with coffee, which has become the famous drink originated from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Though it is a natural prebiotic, and also an Oligosaccharide carbohydrate (the “O” in FODMAP), my body handles it quite well. This is probably due to the fact that the properties in chicory root help gallbladder bile flow, as well as liver detoxification and kidney function. Whether you have to eat a certain way due to a health complication, or are simply trying to cut down on your fake carb and sugar intake, this dense chocolate cake is for you! As an added bonus, the frosting I created is also free of dairy and refined powdered sugar, so don’t be afraid to go ahead and indulge! Your body might actually thank you 🙂
If you cannot have any type of yogurt, it can easily be replaced with coconut cream from the top of a full-fat, refrigerated, can of coconut milk.
This frosting will firm up in the fridge! Therefore, if you wish to pipe later with it, simply place into the bag ahead of refrigeration.