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So I’m not sure who or what my little friend is here, but if it makes my kids smile, that’s all that matters, right? These little meatballs are great for dinner, lunch or snacks. One person had the suggestion of freezing them so they you could take them on the go and by noon, they’d be ready. I love it! Anyway, here is the recipe:

  • 2 lbs grassfed beef
  • 1 carrot- chopped small or grated
  • 1 small onion- chopped small or grated
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 eggs
  • celtic sea salt
  • pepper

Sauce:

  • 1-2 15 oz. can(s) organic tomato sauce
  • 1 whole shredded zuchinni (if you peel it, you can tell your kids they are little noodles)
  • salt, pepper, oregano, garlic

Form mixture into meatballs (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter) and squish into a 9×13 baking dish. Then cover with sauce and bake at 375 for approximately 50-60 minutes. Thanks for another great recipe Marla!

A third of the population may be gluten intolerant (and many believe that number to be closer to 35-50%), excluding people that have Celiac. That’s a lot of people! Now, I just thought gluten affected the digestive system but after researching it more and listening to an an amazing podcast on gluten by Sean Croxton, my favorite podcast nutritional guru, I’ve learned it can affect EVERYTHING. I’ll try to keep this short but what interested me the most is how it can affect kids and particularly kids with ADHD. There was a study where they put 136 kids who had ADHD on a gluten free diet for 6 months. The results? 100% of the kids saw improvement in ALL 12 markers that classify for diagnosis for ADHD. Wow. On a separate study, 80% of the kids that were studied with ADHD had anti-gliadin antibodies (gluten intolerance).

Gluten can also affect other parts of the body including the brain (alzheimers, depression), joints (arthritis), bones (osteoporosis), nerves (tingling, weakness and numbness) and can also cause a host of autoimmune diseases, fatigue, migraines, fertility issues, weight gain, bloating, constipation, malabsorption, and the list goes on. According to Dr. Tom Braley, in his book “Dangerous Grains”, he lists over 200 diseases, disorders and negative health effects caused by gluten. 

It’s hard to know for sure though because sometimes you won’t test positive for celiac but just have mildly elevated liver enzymes. Also many people are asymptomatic so it can be also be hard to self diagnose as well. Click here for more information testing info on Dr. O’Bryan’s web site.

Try a gluten free diet for 30 days, but know that it could take up to the last 30 days to see any results. Hopefully you will notice at least some difference after a week though. And chances are good, by day 31, you’ll really know whether you have an intolerance or not.

Now, this doesn’t mean that all cases of ADHD, depression, autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone—but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness or any of the above symptoms or issues.

Here are some interesting articles if you’d like to learn more:

 

With all that said, I had to do some gluten free baking today so (I used a recipe I got from my sweet sister in law) made these granola cookies. I’ll be honest, my daughter didn’t love these, but my son made up for it!

Mix

  • 3 tbls melted kerrygold butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbls vanilla
  • 1 cup honey

Add

  • 2 1/2 cups organic gluten free oats to the mixture above, let sit 5 minutes. Then add
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup roasted flax seeds

Mix all together. Spoon on cookie sheet in about 1” balls with parchment paper. Cook on 350 for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Here’s another easy and yummy recipe I got from Sara Fragoso. Both my kids love this!

  • 3 – 4 chicken breasts (I used about 1 1/4 lb of chicken)
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 3 green onions diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tbsp capers
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Cut the chicken into strips. In a large sauté pan heat the 2 tbsp of ghee over medium high heat. Your pan should be really hot.  While your pan is heating lightly sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the sea salt and black pepper.  Place the chicken into the hot skillet and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle but still tender –  be sure not to overcook.  Remove the chicken from the pan and add to the same pan the olive oil, garlic, and onions.  Quickly sauté the garlic and onions for 2 minutes, scraping any of the chicken drippings off the bottom of the pan.  Add the wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and capers and bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately (I put the chicken back in the pan so it could soak up the flavor until dinner time). Enjoy!

My friend Kimberly gave me this recipe probably about 2 years ago and have made it regularly ever since. It’s in the great winter time, but honestly I love it year round. First, it’s so easy to make, and second, I love having it in the fridge, ready to go for the week when I need a snack or easy lunch. Also, I’ll break up some ground turkey burgers, hamburgers, TJ’s sausage, or hotdog and add it to the soup. Or on a veggie sort of day, I’ll add raw mushrooms or lightly steamed broccoli. Sometimes I’ll also add some sliced almonds or brazil nuts. You could use pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, greek yogurt, coconut milk, chives, etc. (not all together of course)! Get creative with it!

Butternut Squash Recipe

What you need:

  • extra large pot
  • 1 package celery (for creamier, heartier soup, skip the celery)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 pack of TJ’s garlic prepackaged cloves (so probably 7-8 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 4-5 packages of butternut squash (I get the precut from TJ’s; see below)
  • 1 tablespoon celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry (you can skip this or add more or less depending on your taste)
  • 4-6 cups organic chicken broth (use almost 64 oz – 2 large boxes) or make your own (it’s so good for you!)
  • 3-4 bay leaves

Here’s how to cook it:

  • Chop celery and onion in chunks (you’re going to blend it so it doesn’t have to be cut up into super small pieces)
  • Heat 1 tbls of butter or ghee
  • Add celery, onion and garlic and cook for about 5 or until slightly tender
  • Add butternut squash, chicken broth, salt and curry
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover
  • Cook until squash is fork tender
  • Use hand blender in pot and mix until smooth.
  • Add bay leaves

Enjoy!

What do you think?

What I would really love for this page/blog is to be a sort of community where you can share your nutritional experiences/perspectives. Soon we can post on the stiritup.me facebook page (please click on this link and hit “like” so I can set this up), or directly to the blog (since not everyone has a facebook account). I think this will be such a great way for everyone to share and learn. Daphne posted a great comment under “Good ole southern meal”. She had some really helpful advice on ways to introduce cauliflower mash to kids that might be use to traditional mashed potatoes. Thanks for the tip Daphne! See…we are all learning!

I would love to hear if you cook something. Was it good, was it awful, did you make any changes that helped, or hurt it? And I promise my feelings won’t be hurt if you or your kids didn’t like something. Maybe we can figure out together a way to help them like it better next time. I’d also love to hear if you have an idea about a future post or just if you have a question. Got it? Good! 🙂 Oh, and please still feel free to email me directly too if it’s more personal. I’d love to chat!