Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lentils and Rice

So this meal idea is 98% safe for a Candida-free diet. I can't be perfect! I say this because there is a tiny bit of cream in the Madras Lentils, but it is so low that it shouldn't effect the diet too much. These little guys are amazing! My aunt gave them to me as part of a birthday present (along with a beautiful lunch tote for work). It tastes like Chili and can be used in a number of ways: as chili, in tacos, as a soup, on rice etc. Tasty Bite website here. You can purchase them at Costco.

And guess what? They are REALLY good for you. Not only do the below things apply, but for those of you watching your calories...the whole container is about 300 calories and fills you up! (That's 6 weight watchers points).
Whats even better? You throw it in the microwave for 90 seconds. Pair that with some 90 seconds rice....
And voila! A quick lunch that will sooth your healthy soul. I topped my meal off with some Greek yogurt (an excellent substitute for sourcream)
My only worry... packaging. I realize this is a lot of packaging. The rice bowl is BPA free and recyclable...but that doesn't make it perfect. To reduce waste, make this meal only when you are really strapped for time and stick to the bulk food section for other meals.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Guest Recipes!

Happy Monday!
Its that time again...Guest recipes!

Crab Cheddar Dip from Josh and Brenda

Pomegranate Cosmo

Super Popcorn - Dad and Sister Shannon's speciality. Recipe at the bottom!

Super Popcorn
• 1 Popcorn bag
• Butter
• Salt
Put the popcorn in the microwave for 2 minutes 10 seconds. While that’s going get a small dish and put some butter in it and get a big bowl for the popcorn. When the popcorn is done switch it out for the butter and put that in for about 15 seconds and while that’s going pour the popcorn out into the bowl. By the time you’re done the butter will be done so take that out, dribble a little onto the popcorn, shake up the popcorn, pour the butter again and so on until the butters gone, then take the butter bowl and rub the rest of the butter on the sides of the dish onto the popcorn. Then get salt and pour a little on then shake the popcorn and do that again 2 or 3 times and you're done.
Note: The amount of butter depends on the popcorn. About 1/3 of a cube for regular popcorn. For extra butter popcorn, ¼ cube at most. For extra salt popcorn, don’t add extra salt.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tuna Salad and Mom's Meatloaf

I needed some lunches for the work week and decided what better way to have lunch and be productive at the same time, than cooking some recipe book items. I made Tuna Salad (from Curves and my cousin Penny) recipe here and My Mother's Meatloaf, which is really rather kind of healthy (from my Mom). I used grass-fed ground beef to make the dish taste better and be better for my tum. The oatmeal is a nice touch instead of breadcrumbs (I am sorry breadcrumbs...you know I love you dearly). I mixed it all up (a little grossed out by my bowl of meat) and got it cooking in the oven. Alright, cook for 45 minutes to an hour, I can do that. As I waited, I chopped and mixed up the tuna salad. I am still a little weary of seafood. I never really had much seafood growing up and it all still has the distinct 'fishy' smell and taste to me. Maybe it is because I have always lived in a land-locked state...but seafood isn't really my thing. I have recently weaned myself on shrimp and the tuna salad wasn't too bad. Still not really my favorite...
So I check on the meatloaf...I glance at the microwave clock to see how much time I have left. Funny...the clock just reads the time. Shoots! Someone forgot to set a timer or even look at a clock when she put the meatloaf in...typical! I used a tactic I think most normal people can figure out...the technical term is 'eyeballing'. I am hoping it is done! At least the meat was grass-fed...
Although these dishes were both yummy...I am darn right tired of eating them after 3 days. Pasta and cheese anyone?

Mom’s Meatloaf
• 1 lb ground beef
• 1 egg
• ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
• ¼ cup chopped onion
• ½ can tomato soup
• Salt, pepper, and crushed garlic (to taste)
• ¼ cup yellow mustard
Mix all ingredients together. But in a bread loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F. Pour off grease.

I topped mine with Not Your Traditional Ketchup from Sauce for a Cause. More to come on Sauce for a Cause soon!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Restaurant Review: Mona's

Mona’s (4.3/5)

If you find yourself around Spear and 1-25 (near the huge REI) and you see some sexy legs sticking out of the side of a building….don’t be alarmed, rather stop for breakfast or lunch!

Jeff and I were trying to find a good place for breakfast after the trials and tribulations of giving kitty a bath and didn’t want to wait for an hour to eat at Snooze. So we drove around a bit and Jeff had remembered that there was a breakfast place by the Platte with some smoking legs. Go figure that Jeff would be distracted by legs.

We walked in with hopes that there would not be a long wait (as it was 11:30 on a Sunday). The rather direct (and a little rough) hostess said 5-10 minutes…excellent. We took our seats and Jeff ordered coffee and I had a large glass of milk. The menu was so appealing to Jeff that he wanted to order one of everything!

He decided on Chorizo Cakes ($9.98). It was play on Egg’s Benedict with an English muffin on the bottom, the chorizo cakes, topped with green chili, eggs and beans on the side (to be added on top if you like). Jeff really liked the dish but said it wasn’t as spicy as he would have liked.

I had the Egg’s Benedict; my usually breakfast order. I love to order this dish the first time I visit a breakfast place because it usually helps me determine how good the restaurant is. Anyone can make pancakes, but the Benedict requires a little finesse.

Mona's Eggs Benedict $9.98
Two poached eggs and Canadian bacon on an English muffin, smothered with orange-chipotle hollandaise and served with house potatoes

I made my usually substitution of regular bacon instead of Canadian bacon.

The hollandaise sauce was delicious! It had hint or orange-chipotle flavor but it wasn’t overwhelming and the true hollandaise flavor still came through. The eggs were poached perfectly, a little runny in the middle as they should be. The bacon was really crispy with a hint of pepper on it. The potatoes on the side had huge pieces of onion and pepper that added flavor to the potatoes. Jeff was really impressed with the texture of the potatoes; they were very fluffy on the inside with a crispy outside.

Food: 5/5
The menu is very unique with many dishes that are sure to make your mouth water. The food was fresh and cooked great.

Service: 4/5
Our server was wonderful, attentive and very nice. The hostess was rather rude, but we didn’t have to talk to her much.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Very fun with chalkboards all over and lots of color.
They also had a varity of interesting alcoholic drinks, some breakfast in nature and some lunch.
Jeff and I are always looking for a good breakfast place that is in the area and we are thinking that this may be our normal weekend hotspot.  We are excited to go back and try other menu items.

Where is your favorite place to get breakfast? What is your favorite breakfast food?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Whole Wheat Pasta and Tea

After all of the meatball sandwiches, cheese dip, and mounds bars I needed to have some Candida friendly food. I made a whole-wheat pasta, with spinach and goat cheese and a little pesto mixed in. Pau d’ Arco tea on the side; great for a Candida diet. For a healthy choice add more veggies and protein and less pasta.

Candida Safe: whole wheat pasta, goat cheese, spinach, pesto (homemade or natural), pau d’ arco tea

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Josh’s Cheese Dip and Mounds Bars

Ladies night (plus Jeff and Kevin) was hosted at Kori and Kevin’s new place. I made Josh’s Cheese Dip from my cousin Josh (obviously). The dip is yummy! I cannot disclose the secret ingredient, but I will tell you that I had to go to a drive-through to get it. This is a bachelor-type dish and is pretty easy to make. It is the old dump and heat strategy. You open up cans and jars, dump it into a pot and heat slowly. Once complete it is cheesy, smooth and has quite a kick to it. Unfortunately, it is highly addictive and one bite could turn into a whole bowlful and a way-to-full stomach.

The Mounds Bars are very good! They have three layers that you add to a bar pan and heat. Chocolate, coconut, and more chocolate. One of my roomies said it was really good and she doesn’t like coconut. The trick is that it keeps the coconut flavor but it is melted together, so you lose the coconut texture.

Ladies night was very enjoyable; cheese, wine and Jersey Shore (don’t judge). Thank you for hosting Kori and Kevin!

Josh’s Cheese Dip
• 1 can refried beans (28oz)
• Velveeta Cheese (Big Brick)
• 1 can green chilli sauce (15oz)
• 1 can Rotel hot (10oz)
• *Secret Ingredient* Add hot sauce as you see fit
• 1 or 2 cans Green Chile Peppers Diced (4oz)
Cook Slowly on low so you don’t burn the cheese. Cut the cheese into small pieces.

Mounds Bars
• 1 cup margarine
• 1 ¾ cups sugar
• 3 ½ heaping Tbsp. cocoa
• 1 ½ cups flour
• 4 eggs
Mix and bake for 15 minutes at 325°F.
2nd Layer:
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 cup coconut
Bake for 20 minutes.
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 Tbsp. margarine
• 4 Tbsp. milk
Boil for 2 minutes, Add 1 cup chocolate chips

As I am typing this I just realized that I had glanced at another recipe as I was cooking the Mounds Bars. I cooked the frosting for 35 minutes. It tasted alright, so I guess that works too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Lucky Pie Pizza

Lucky Pie Pizza (4.7/5)

Website Here
Just opened in Louisville, CO where the post office used to be.

As soon as we walked in it was clear to me that Louisville was transforming from an old-time main street to a hip place for fun. This restaurant was swanky! The decor was absolutely beautiful (bummed I didn’t get a picture) with curved stools, sharp edges and splashes of well-placed color. Jeff and I went to celebrate our friend Adam’s birthday.
I always enjoy when restaurants give you a carafe of water. This way you don’t have to wait for water and you don’t have to feel bad for sucking down the water like it’s your job. Lucky Pie Pizza starts out the service by providing a blue wine bottle with water. A nice modern touch and practicality wrapped into one. Next to the carafe is a beer that Jeff was drinking. I typically don’t know much about beer, but from what the boys were talking about it sounded like the beer selection was vast and included some really good stuff. I had a sip of Birthday Boy, Adam’s, beer that tasted an awful lot like coffee to me…not your normal light beer.

The menu tickled my taste buds when I saw ‘Charred corn white truffle butter’ for only 4 bucks! Do not click on that link if you don't want to be sufficiently annoyed…and it is a YouTube video with sound…had to do it. My apologies. The corn was very good, and had quite a kick to it. I had trouble tasting the truffle oil, but it was good nonetheless.

Jeff wanted to order some ‘Beef carpaccio balsamic, arugula’ He loved this dish!

We shared a ‘Margarita mozzarella, tomato, basil’ pizza. Wow! This stuff is good. The crust was thin and flaky but still doughy in the middle, just how I like it. The mozzarella was flawlessly melted and topped with tomato and basil. The crust was a little crispy on the ends, but since it is their first week, I will give them a break.

MMM Pizza and Whiskey
The staff was very nice and working their tails off. Since we had a birthday they really rolled out the red carpet…free shots for the table of 11 people, a free beer for the birthday boy and free dessert…which I didn’t taste, but the word is that it was good.

Will I go back, most definitely! Happy 10th anniversary of your 21st Adam :)


Food: 4/5
The food was really good and a great value for the price. The menu included some unique items such as the corn that you might not be able to order elsewhere.

Atmosphere: 5/5
Great for a laid back night, fun with friends, casual date, or a girls night

Service: 5/5
Good service and they are doing much better than you would expect for a restaurant that just opened. At one point I finished off our blue water pitcher and a hostess stopped by immediately to bring another.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meatball Sandwhiches

One of my favorites! This recipe is very easy and great to make for groups and families. My good friend Amanda came over for a visit (she also wanted to drop off some birthday presents for me, which I adore!) I made the meatball sammys for the two of us and both of us were full, happy campers. Since I had so many leftovers, Jeff and I got a round two of this dish on Friday night.

Meatball Sandwich
•Frozen meatballs (four per sandwich)
•Spaghetti Sauce
•Provolone cheese slices
•French Bread
•Olive Oil
Cook the frozen meatballs in a saucepan with enough sauce to lightly cover the meatballs. Cook until warm throughout. Slice French bread in half and coat with olive oil. Broil bread until the olive oil slightly crisps. Add meatballs and top with provolone, broil until cheese melts.

My wonderful presents from Amanda: Sleepytime tea, a lantern with candles to go with, and a fishy. The fishy is technically for resting chopsticks upon, but he will live in my desk.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Heath Candy

This dish was an utter and complete failure! Perhaps the instructions were off, perhaps I didn’t heat the mixture to 310 degrees (this is the most likely culprit). So my one pound of butter that I mixed with two cups of sugar (crazy I know!) Ended up as butter and not candy. So I had a whole cookie sheet of butter (mixed with chocolate and pecans)….kind of awkward. Then I decided to reheat the mixture and try again. The chocolate chunks and pecans all got thrown in the mixture. Reheat...repour…refailure. Round two ended up the same way as round one. The most stellar part of this whole operation is when I had to clean up this mess. I heated it up in the oven (to make it easier to pour in the trash) which subsequently makes it easier to spill all over the floor. Have you ever cleaned a lot of butter off of the floor? It isn’t really easy. I hope others have some luck with this dish…candy making isn’t my thing!

This is NOT Candida safe!

Heath Candy
•1 lb butter
•2 cups sugar
•¼ cup water
•2 – 7oz herseys bars
Cook over medium heat until 310°F. Pour onto well buttered cookies sheet. Chunk 2 – 7oz herseys bars on top and smooth when melted. Sprinkle with nuts.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Westgard Coffee Cake

Ah how disappointing it can be when you realize that there is no coffee in coffee cake. But alas…still a wonderful dish. Coffee is to coffee cake as mashed potatoes are to roast (sorry to anyone who is studying for the GRE, I didn’t mean to cause you panic!). This coffee cake is simple, yummy as heck and well…I am just darn glad I made it. I made a trip to the coffee place within walking distance of my new place to get some coffee to go with my cake…excellent start to my Sunday.
This is definitely NOT Candida safe!

Westgard Coffee Cake
•½ lb butter (2 sticks) or Margarine
•2 eggs
•1 cup sugar
•2 cups flour (pre-sifted)
•1 tsp. baking soda
•1 tsp. vanilla
•Pinch of salt
•1 – 8 oz sour cream
Set above aside and making topping
•¼ cup brown sugar
•⅓ cup white sugar
•1 tsp. cinnamon
•½ cup pecans or chopped walnuts
Place ½ of 1st mixture in greased 9x13x2in metal pan. Sprinkle half of topping over. Add remaining batter and sprinkle rest of topping on. Bake at 350°F on middle rack for 35-40 minutes.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Restaurant Review: Rioja

Rioja (5/5)

For my birthday boyfriend took me to Rioja in Denver...

What we ordered:

- Pomeginger: Skyy vodka, pomegranate juice, ginger, twist of lemon | 10
Excellent, the ginger added a unique flavor. Strong enough for my liking.

-hand made mozzarella: wrapped in smoked prosciutto, grilled bread, oven-dried tomatoes, arugula, green olive pistou | 9.50
Mozzarella was fresh and the prosciutto added a wonderful savory flavor. I even liked the oven-dried tomatoes and I hate tomatoes. Good portion.

-seared Big Eye tuna: eggplant “cannelloni”, olive-orange lentil vinaigrette, Valbreso crèma | 26.00
Cooked perfectly, cannelloni’s mirrored the look of a tuna, very artistic, excellent sauce


-caprese gnocchi: ricotta gnocchi, house made burrata cheese, herb tomato salad, almond-basil pesto, guanciale | 18.50
Light fluffy Gnocchi, I picked up a different flavor with each bite, 5 kinds of tomatoes

-raspberry peach pie with almond icecream and a Rosa Regale toast from boyfriend
Very good with sweet and interesting flavors. Jeff said he would eat that icecream everyday if they sold it in stores


Food: 5/5

Good portions that make you full but not uncomfortable, fresh ingredients, excellent pairing and blending of flavors, unique dishes

Atmosphere: 5/5

Crowded and a little loud but dim and sultry, it felt very romantic to us

Service: 5/5

She was prompt and checked back after each item was brought out to be sure we were enjoying it, but wasn’t overbearing and left us alone to celebrate, had other wait staff offering bread, filling waters and taking plates

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Yes that is right! I had a Candida safe ‘burger and French fries’ dinner.

Candida safe: Spelt Bread (grilled with butter and garlic), Grass-fed ground beef, goat cheese, red potatoes mashed with rosemary and garlic.

And this meal, I will say it…looks like crap! How to improve the overall taste/presentation/healthy benefactors? How about lettuce, tomato, onion…heck! I could even throw an egg on top to really tickle my burger cravings. More adventures in Candida safe burgers to come!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Pasta

I am really missing the point on this meal. The ratio should really be mostly veggies, followed by protein, and then things like whole wheat pasta and ricotta cheese in the smallest portions. My thought…it is better than other choices I could have made; burger and fries, mac and cheese etc.

Everything on this plate is Candida safe!

Candida safe: Whole Wheat Pasta, Ricotta Cheese, Spinach, Tomato, Chicken (cooked in olive oil, lemon and rosemary)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

CasCal Soda

Jeff and I stumbled on this ‘soda’ called CasCal at Whole Foods as they had a sample stand set up. They even took my picture as I was studying the bottle so watch out…I could be famous! It is a soda-like drink that has fermented pears to give it a ‘grown up’ taste (but no alcohol). It is kind of confusing but essentially it is a soda, but with less sugar and still loads of flavor. The Light Red with notes of Black Current, Cherry and Mirabelle has only 7 grams of sugar and 60 calories as opposed to a Coke of the same size which has 37.8 grams of sugar and 130.6 calories! Although it has too much sugar for a Candida diet, it is a great alternative to sugary drinks when you have that unbearable craving for fizzy sweetness. I think it would also make a great mixer with vodka!

Have you come across any tasty beverages?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fizzy Summer

As the summer days have been absolutely scorching I thought it would be lovely to make a light, crisp summer drink. Using these silicone ice trays I picked up at Bed Bath and Beyond last week, I made lemon-raspberry ice cubes. I squeezed out some fresh lemon juice and added a tiny bit to the bottom of each square. Then I tossed in 2 raspberries, finishing by filling the squares with water. Adding the ice cubes to a glass of sparkling water and there you have it: A light, citrus, refreshing, healthy summer drink.

Does anyone have any other ideas for ice cubes or ice trays?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shrimp Madness!

Whole Foods was having a shrimp skewer special; five Shrimps on a skewer for a buck. I capitalized on this offer and with my new found love/tolerance of shrimp I planned a dinner. I bought 10 shrimp that were already marinated with a tequila lime sauce and then marinated the other 10 with my own blend of lime juice, lime zest, garlic and cilantro (fresh!). I sautéed the little guys up in some olive oil and made cilantro-lime brown rice and green beans as side dishes. As a light dipping sauce I put together Greek Yogurt with lemon juice and zest. Delicious sounding, I know, and everything thing sans the tequila shrimp (Jeff wanted these) and the CasCal soda are great to eat on a Candida diet. If you would like a more savory version of shrimp and rice idea, go check out this recipe at Savor the Sweet.

Candida Safe: Shrimp, Lime, Garlic, Cilantro, Brown Rice, Green Beans, Olive Oil, Lemon, Greek Yogurt
More information to come on CasCal soda...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


So the recipe project is going to slow down a bit.

I have an extremely sensitive stomach and have gone through many health problems over the last 5 years or so. I thought I had an ulcer and then I thought I had celiac disease, and then I thought maybe I was just gluten intolerant. My conclusion was that my health issues were due to an overgrowth of Candida in my digestive system. To remedy this I went on a 3 month cleanse diet where I severely limited any sugar or yeast…which doesn’t leave much to eat. I was able to enjoy filtered water, organic chicken or turkey, grass-fed beef, seafood, VEGTABLES, brown rice, whole wheat tortillas and pasta, goat cheese, nuts, seeds and eggs (there are more things than that, but this is the jest.) But the ‘no’ list was very hard to follow, no sugar, no white flour, no cheese, no alcohol, no caffeine, no fruit, nothing that has preservatives, nothing served from a can…it went on. Although the diet was very difficult to follow it was amazing how every single one of my health problems went away. So since the cleanse I was suppose to add food slowly back into my diet and always be conscious of balance. This didn’t happen….I had been gluten free for about 2 years before that and the cleanse was very hard to follow…I went NUTS! I had burgers, pasta, cheese, martinis, blah blah blah. I went out to eat all the time and then started up this recipe book. The food is so good, but most of these recipes are horrible on my stomach!

For more information about how a Candida Free diet can help you, go to my Candida information page here.

Since Candida Diets are ‘naturopathic’ and do not have the millions of research dollars that drug companies have…there are varying interpretations of the best way to do the diet. If you want to try..stick to your gut (literally) and eat what makes you feel best!

Although I am disappointed to say the recipe book may not be finished on time…my health needs come first. Last week I threw up after every meal (sorry a TMI). I would eat food and instantly my body would say…THIS IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU.

So I need a break. I need to go back on the cleanse. I need to make my body happy with me again. So please support me in this. I am still going to cook some…if I am invited to an event I can bring a dessert, if I have dinner guests I can make them a meal. So keep checking the blog! I am going to post often about Candida-free recipes and healthy eating ideas. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guest Recipes!

Better than Robert Redford (Or maybe Brad Pitt) made by my Grandmother, Alice

Key Lime Pie - Made by my Mom, Recipe from Jeff's Parents

Jello Cake - I made a cherry one for my friend Devon's Birthday. Top photo by Luke.

Scooteros - Jenny, Only the BEST Camping snack

Fudge Dream Bars - Jenny

Chicken Salad - Jeff's Mom

Candy Bar Cake - From a friend at work, Danielle...it is decadent

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pigs in a blanket

My mother is out of town visiting her family in South Dakota. I would tell you the town name…but I am 100% sure that no one has heard of the place (it’s very small). So due to her absence I was afraid that my Dad and sister might starve to death. My dad has never been and never will be a good cook. Some of his favorite recipes are…

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Lemon Sugar (cut lemon in half, dip it in bowl of sugar, lick off sugar)

Bologna Rollups – Tortilla, craft cheese single, bologna, microwave….done!

Grape Kool Aid

I will admit he makes a mean omelet…but the cooking skills stop there. I decided I would stop over and cook him some dinner. Although I wanted to wow him with my wonderful cooking skills, he is a very picky eater so I made pigs in a blanket. Now this recipe is easy, and maybe not that healthy…but it is sure good! They turned out pretty good, but nothing ever looks as appetizing as when my mom makes it. We welcome her and her cooking back on Tuesday!