My New Blog Location

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Chives and Basil Rice

Some of my favorite things: onions, fresh basil, and chives. This sauce is simple to make but very piquant. 

All you need:
1 or 2 cups of rice
Yellow onion 
Chives (fresh preferably)
Basil (fresh preferably) 

Chop, dice or otherwise slice:
1 Large Onion
7 or so stems of Chives
7 leaves of Basil (fresh from outside your door, if you can!)

Add a generous serving of organic extra-virgin olive oil to a sauce pan.
Add the onions, chives and basil
Sprinkle some himalayan salt (or other)

Saute until onions are translucent but not brown. Serve over organic white or brown rice.

To expand the recipe you can add vegetables of your choice, if you wish. I enjoyed this, however, because I got to relish the taste of basil and onions. Mmmm.


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Ruby Range GF Mixes

I have an array of recipes and photos to add to my blog. I have been unable to do so, however, for I cannot find my sd card reader [to clarify, I can't get my pictures on my computer without this device]. I hope to finish unpacking soon.

My husband said "well, you can still post something!"

So here it is.

We recently tried a pancake mix by the Ruby Range. It has mesquite flour and teff flour. The directions on the back call for dairy ingredients. Since we are casein free, we substituted for non-dairy ingredients with fantastic results.

Mesquite flour:

• Has sustained desert dwellers for centuries

• Has a low glycemic index

• Is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc

• Adds vegetable protein including lysine to the diet

• Supports sustainable agriculture world wide

• Can be used as a tasty condiment or in baking

Teff flour:

• Is a source of calcium, iron, phosphorous, copper and thiamin

• It is high in amino acids and contains higher levels of lysine than wheat or barley

• Is used throughout Ethiopia and is thought to have originated there

Sourced information:

Mesquite Flour

Teff Flour

These pancakes are so wonderful. They have a nutty and almost chocolatey burst of flavor. They have a smooth, melt in your mouth texture. Enjoy them drizzled with maple syrup or agave. 


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Onion Crackers and "Would you like a bag?"

Trying to get back in the groove of blogging. I haven't had much time because we just moved into a different house.

While we were moving, we bought some things to have a quick easy snack. These Onion Crackers by Ener-G were one of the products we decided to try for the first time. Surprisingly, they were quite good.

I spread almond butter or sunflower seed butter on them. They would also be good with a bowl of soup. But as it is summer, I would opt for a dairy free dip or simply some seed or nut butter!

Speaking of sunflower seed butter, these Sunbutter Crunch Snack Bars are really good. I love that there are so many nut free options now. My daughter is allergic to most nuts.

Buying those onion crackers, to me, was the equivalent of going out to eat. We don't buy much in the way of package foods, at least compared to mainstream america. We do buy things like sunflower seed butter, coconut milk and coconut water, etc. But we do have an awareness of the foods we eat, and we make an effort to eat mostly non-packaged foods. We also use reusable bags, and if we forget them, we opt for no bag and carry whatever we bought. My favorite reusable bag is the Chico Bag. It stores easily - I carry them in my purse - and they hold a lot and are durable.

I have found that the "cloth like" reusable bags that stores are offering (whole foods, target, walmart, etc) are not durable long-term. They rip easily.

Do you use reusable bags? Just think, every time you buy items and are given a plastic bag, then you are contributing to the estimated 500 billion plastic bags a year, or 1 million per minute[[reusablebags.com].

I recommend reading this article: The Real Cost of "Free"

It seems like, in the not-so-distant past, cashiers or baggers used to ask "would you like a bag?"
But then, suddenly, your items started to just be tossed into a bag regardless of whether or not you really needed one. 

I have had times where I was buying one item that could easily be carried in my hand, and the cashier put in a large plastic bag. Each time, I would either say "I don't need a bag" or take the item out myself. Sometimes, if someone was with me, I would say loudly how wasteful plastic bags are. Usually, cashiers respond with kindness when I opt for no bag, or bring my own bag. But I have had times when I would get this "what do you mean you don't want a BAG? it's EASIER" kind of look.

It seems like someone flipped a switch and all of a sudden we use plastic bags for any kind of item regardless of whether we really need them, simply because it is easier. When we used to go to the movie store, they would try to put our movies in a bag. That to me seems very strange. Why do movies need a bag?

If you use reusable bags, please share which are your favorite. We use cotton canvas bags too.


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A new winner for the gluten free products prize

Unfortunately, the original winner - Pauline - never responded to my email. The rules were the winner had 4 days to respond.

The new random winner is Tamara from GFCF Frog Blog



And the winners are....

For the Gluten Free Products prize:

For the book prize:

Congratulations!! And thanks to random.org for helping pick random winners.

I will be contacting you soon!

After I contact the winners, they have four days to respond. If no response, a new winner will be drawn.


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Honey Rooibos Iced Tea

The contest has ended!

Today, movers will be here in about an hour and I shouldn't even be on the computer because we still have stuff to do. We were faced with having to move with a less than two week notice. To make a long story short, we found out that our daughter is allergic to dust mites. We found a place that only has hardwood floors and jumped on it.

For that reason, I will be announcing the winners by Monday. I had originally planned to announce them today, Thursday. I apologize for the inconvenience. I hope everyone will understand.

How to make the tea:

• Heat 7 cups of water in a sauce pan

• Add 2 Rooibos tea bags

• Add 2 tablespoons of raw honey [or to taste]

• Add to pitcher

My glass pitcher happens to hold 57.25 ounces, which I think is kind of odd. That comes to about 7 cups of water. You can adjust the recipe to fit your needs.

Health benefits of Rooibos tea:
• Rooibos tea contains no colors, additives or preservatives, making it a natural beverage. It contains no caffeine.

• According to studies conducted in South Africa and Japan Rooibos has been shown to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and hypertension.

• Studies also show that this tea contains anti - spasmodic agents, which can relieve stomach cramping and colic in infants.

• In South Africa Rooibos has been used to treat allergies such as hay fever, asthma and eczema very effectively .

• It is also used to treat irritated skin. Rooibos is brewed and placed directly on infected areas. Rooibos contains anti - oxidants which can help slow the aging process and boost the immune system.

• This tea contains almost no oxalic acid, making it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones.

• Rooibos naturally contains the following minerals: copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha- hydroxy ( for healthy skin ) and magnesium (for the nervous system) are also components of this tea.

**Facts from AfricanTea.com

Happiness Cookies

I call these happiness cookies for two reasons. One, after making the first batch and letting them cool, I was choosing one to give my husband to try. Somehow, I dropped it on the floor. As I went to pick it up, I noticed that the chocolate chips were arranged in a perfect -- but quite unintentional smiley face. There were two eyes, a nose, and then several chocolate chips in a curved mouth form.

How about that! Too bad I didn't think to take a picture :)

Second reason was I enjoyed this thoroughly. It was so much fun to make something for my husband to take to a work meeting. With all the challenges we have been having -- with our daughters allergies and so forth -- I took a moment to really savor the small things. I am so thankful.

I used Cherrybrook Kitchen Sugar Cookie Mix

It calls for:
1/4 cup of milk substitute (I usedRice Milk)

1/2 cup of margarine or oil

2 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract, Gluten Free

** I added 1 organic egg

After dolloping the cookie dough onto the sheet, I sprinkled each cookie with chocolate chips from Enjoy Life

** I have made this mix before. It is kind of dry and although the cookies come out moist from the oven, they hardened quickly. My solution to that problem was to add 1 organic egg. Now, I know that my blogger address is "glutenfreeveganbaby," but my husband has lately been adding organic eggs to his diet. I have as well. The reason is because my daughter has so many allergies, and so we did some allergy testing. She reacted to basically everything on the vegetarian panel: flaxseeds, millet, quinoa, brown rice, hemp seeds, etc. So, as you can imagine, our choices are quite limited!


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Gluten-Free Product Give-A-Way! Expanded

There have been several "Anonymous" comments with no email address. It is okay if you leave an Anonymous comment, BUT if you want to be entered in the drawing then there has to be a way to contact you if you win. Thanks!! If you entered a comment and neglected to give contact info, you can repost a comment.

Welcome to my first product give-a-way. I am excited!

Participating companies:
Arico Gluten Free, Casein Free Snacks
Cherrybrook Kitchen
Enjoy Life Foods

What the winner will receive:

› 1 box of Chocolate Cake Mix by Cherrybrook Kitchen
› 1 individually wrapped Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bar by Arico Natural Foods
› 1 individually wrapped Double Chocolate Cookie Bar by Arico Natural Foods
› 1 bag of Cassava Chips, Barbeque Bliss
› 1 box of Snickerdoodle Cookies by Enjoy Life plus a coupon [Oh these are so good!]

Here is how to participate:

› Leave a comment below.
› Post about my give-a-way on your blog [this is optional]

Only one entry per person. Entry deadline is June 25, 2008.

›Who is eligible:
You must have a US shipping address. You don't have to be a blogger to win, just supply a valid e-mail address.

›When the giveaway ends:
Wednesday, June 25. I'll e-mail the winner, and results will be posted here as well. If the winner doesn't respond within four business days, a new winner will be drawn.

Happy commenting!!

› Allergy information:
Please note that while the cookie bars are casein free, the package does say "may contain traces of milk protein" because the chocolate chunks may pick up traces during the manufacturing process.

Wow. I have gotten such a huge response to this. I am adding another giveaway of The Essential Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide from Triumph Dining

After the giveaway deadline ends on June 25, I will draw one winner for the gluten free products prize and then a separate winner for the book prize!


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A Gluten Free Bread

This bread mix by Namaste Foods turned out to be very tasty. It was also very much egg free. For those of you who cannot eat eggs or simply choose not to, then listen up!

I used 1 and a half avocado in place of the 1 egg and 3 egg whites that the mix called for.

It worked so well, the bread is still nice and moist in the center. You would literally never miss the egg.

It was weird making bread from a mix, though. Growing up, I would help my mom make bread (gluten bread of course). I remember kneading it and pounding it. That was the true joy of it. The fun of creating something, with my own mother no less. It wasn't really the making of the bread,but rather just being together and doing something together! But now that we are gluten free, my mom and I make gluten free recipes along with my little one. Now that's the joy of living.

This mix is: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Corn Free, Casein Free, Soy Free and Potato Free.

And because of the avocado, the dough looked greenish before I baked it. :)

To make the avocado egg replacement:

1 1/2 avocado
put in blender
add some water and blend it to a creamy consistency 


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A Reflection in the Rain

Thank you, rain.
You cleanse the air, feed our sprouting seeds and nourish our buds.

You create puddles for little ones to jump in
and sometimes, if they are brave, adults will too

You help us welcome spring
and give us a reason to put our rain boots on

So, rain, Thanks.. and do come again.

It was raining and I said to my husband "Let's go walk in the rain. We can go check the mail too"
So he obliged, and we got our daughter ready to go out in the rain. She loved it, of course. That's her in the picture, isn't she the cutest?

As we were walking though, he said to me "what are you waiting for in the mail?" with that look of "yeh you're doing this just because...."
Offended [not really, but that sounds more thrilling], I said "Nothing! I just wanted to walk in the rain."
"Really." as he continued to give me a look of mixed bewilderment and disbelief
Am I really that plain? Hm.

These Coconut "Ice Cream" Bars are a hot commodity. In our house, they do not last long. They not only taste great great great, but fulfill several requirements:
Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Soy Free
and Organic!
They have other flavors to, notably: Strawberry. I had this as a treat during my labor.

What are you thankful for? How do you perceive rain? Is it something that bothers you, just another negative in a day already rushed and over-extended? Or do you really stop and appreciate rain?


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Simple Vegetable Stir-Fry

This stir-fry is the essence of simple, but the taste is amazing. While we usually make rich and delicious sauces like thai coconut curry, I decided that I wanted something more basic this time. Yesterday was my birthday and my husband was making me dinner. This stir-fry is great, and here is how my dear husband made it:

Yellow onion
Bell Peppers
[vegetables from our local organic delivery box]

Sautee in a steel wokwith olive oil and celtic Salt

Top over tinkyada extra smooth rice spaghettior similar.

My friend Kelly brought me some happy birthday banana bread. It was very yummy! and gluten-free of course. In the picture it is served with some Vanilla Voodoo Coconut Ice Cream.

You could also sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top of the stir fry. Oh! or chop up some fresh basil. Yum


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Books on Celiac Disease

Maybe it's just me, but I was hungry for any kind of information that I could get my hands on regarding celiac disease. I had to understand why, how, and what. I love this book, "Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic" by Peter. H.R. Green. He shares a lot of information, and the format that it is presented in is very easy to follow and understand. The only downside is that he advocates blood work to test for celiac disease, and for that the person has to resume a gluten diet if they have already adopted a gluten-free lifestyle. I believe this is unnecessary, and kind of crazy.

I did a test through Entero Lab. They offer a variety of tests, from a stool test to a mouth swab test. I chose the "Gluten Sensitivity Stool and Gene Panel Complete" because it offered the best selection for me and you saved money doing the set of tests. It included a test for intestinal malabsorption. And the best part, you do not have to resume eating gluten if you have already stopped. I mean, why risk more intestinal damage? For me, it just was not an option. I could not resume feeling like vomiting after every meal, and having my daughter break out in alligator skin thick rashes from the gluten in my breastmilk.

Ah, it is a true joy to be gluten free. Have you ever had people look at you with pity "Oh... gluten free? That must be hard"

Ha. I give them a look of surprise. "Why, no, not really"

The only hard part is avoiding gluten cross contamination and mislabeling of products. I do not find it hard to be gluten free. I do not miss it at all. There are so many wonderful things that you can eat that are gluten free, why lament on it?

So in truth, yes, I find it hard to be gluten-free because of contamination issues, but not because I miss gluten. Far from it.

À La Carte:
»Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic

»Kids with Celiac Disease

»Gluten-free Friends: An Activity Book for Kids

I have something else to say, and it's not too pleasant. If you are eating at the computer, though, I'd have to say you shouldn't be. It is bad for you. I read that somewhere, so it must be true.

My mom recently told me about this. She spoke to a lady who has celiac disease and she shared a story with her. The lady ate at Outback Steakhouse from their gluten free menu. She ended up in the hospital, having horrid stomach pains and bleeding from her intestines because the meal was not really gluten free. There's a big ado about it. But you probably won't be hearing that on the news. First of all, I would not be eating at Outback Steakhouse. But I realize that some people do, and so I have to respect that.

I have a confession to make anyways. I have not eaten out since I found out that I have to be gluten-free. I am too afraid. I have a hard time trusting people, especially when some people have never even heard of "gluten free", "celiac disease", or "gliadin"

Do you find it hard to be gluten free? What are you tips? Share with us if you'd like.


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