Lactose Tolerant

Yep! That’s tolerant! So after a good few months of being sick and not knowing what was happening to my body, I think it’s all behind me now! …not like it used to be, either! 

So I came up with the conclusion that I was finally hitting my lactose intolerant days and posted about my TMI porcelain explosions. I know, I probably didn’t need to remind you. Well, I’ll move on. I went to the doctors and quickly found out that I had slush in my gallbladder (doctor was thinking stones) and that I had bleeding stomach ulcers from a bacteria called H. Pylori. Awesome! I got to take 9 pills a day for 2 weeks and then 2 pills a day for the following 2 weeks. 

You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.

Psalms 77:14

I just went to the doctors yesterday for a follow-up and all is well! I have only had one gallbladder attack in the past month, no more bacterial infection in my stomach, and best news of all, I had a bowl of ice cream and nothing but happiness after! I have eaten an entire pack of string cheese this past week and I did so with no regrets! Haha! Maybe a little while I did a 10 and a half mile run, I could feel the extra weight slowing me down. 

  
Yay! In my short experience with more diet restrictions, my best friend and I went to a Celiacs Disease convention (for her) and while there, I tried a lot of different vegan dishes. We ate all these things that were dairy-free and so delicious, I couldn’t even tell! The Mac n Cheese was by far my favorite, and since it was dairy free, it was healthier than what I would have been eating on a normal diet. I might be allowed to eat cheese now (and will eat a lot of it), but I’m going to replace some things for healthier alternatives! Yay! 

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Deliciousness!!!

So I have been having a hard time with this lactose intolerant life style. Here I am finding myself teeter-tottering with dairy and non-dairy! Well, I am quiet the waffle master! I will make them, eat them, order them, whatever! One time, on a trip in Fiji, all I did was eat waffles. Literally, I ate at least 2 waffles a day! It was wonderful!

Well, a few weeks ago my waffle maker was tired of the over use and lit itself on fire. Talk about going out with a bang! So I’ve been making the next best thing of course… Pancakes! Since I’m as active as I am, I’ve been trying to add more protein to my meals.

Pancakes, that have more protein, and no milk… This includes chocolate! I avoid caffeine and sodium as much as I can with my heart like this. So I came up with the most amazing treat/meal!!

Banana, blue berry pancakes!!

1 banana
2 eggs
1 cup blue berries (I’ve also done raspberries)

I smash the bananas up so it’s one gooey consistency. Then I scramble in the two eggs. Once it’s all mixed together I pour the blue berries in! (This is a lot of berries, so use more or less to your likings.) Cook the mixture on a flat pan just like you’d do any pancakes. This batter takes a little longer than regular ones so be patient! Leave the flame low and just let it cook a little longer.

These are soo delicious! It gives you potassium so you don’t cramp up on your workouts and gives you protein to help you build that muscle! The other amazing thing about protein is it’ll keep you feeling full longer! So I like to eat these as a meal with some fresh melon and a tall glass of ice water! Yum!!

And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

Luke 12:19

You can also use chocolate chips instead and it’ll make a delicious dessert after dinner!! Sprinkle some powdered sugar on top and devour!!!

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TMI Amber, TMI…

So I love cheese! I mean, I loooooovvvee cheese! I remember, growing up, my best friend in high school was lactose intolerant and I just couldn’t understand how she lived without pizza, ice cream, cheese and grapes, cream cheese, cream in her coffee, milk, etc… Then I dated a guy in college who was, too. He limited his lactose intake but every now and then he’d make us killer quesadillas or homemade pizza… Well, dinner was nice but watching a movie on the couch alone while he sat on the pot was kind of lonesome.

I remember learning in school that humans are naturally lactose intolerant. That we are the only species that drinks another animals milk. Hmm, so interesting. The professors taught us that after a while the majority of us will become lactose intolerant. That our body just won’t be able to process that kind of food. I laughed. Not me! All the adults in my family drink a couple of glasses of milk a day.

The day is here… I am lactose intolerant. I am the only one in my family that is, too. I went for a 7.5 mile run last night and decided I was allowed to have some ice cream when I got home. Yes, I was the one sitting on the pot through the movie this time. There will come a day that you become lactose intolerant, too. So for the love of food, I’m going to focus on dairy free recipes this month!

Childlike tendencies with adult consequences… Well, this sucks!

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Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

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When taking away bad habits, no matter what they are nor the reason, it’s difficult. Your good habits might not stick unless you really want them too. What better way to do so than having a good time with them! Laissez les bons temps rouler!” is a Cajun expression meaning, “Let the good times roll!”

My family is not from Louisiana, nor are we from any of the surrounding states. Even with that said, we do have quite the New Orleans culture in us! Gumbo, Jambalaya, Big Band jazz, Blues, that’s all good stuff that you’ll find in our house hold. Some of my favorite things to eat are fried okra, I love fried pickles, too! Actually, I love everything and anything fried… It’s one of my bad habits. Oh, and my mom makes a killer bread pudding with praline liquor! Oh my goodness!

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13

Anyways, doing this fast from processed food and all meats and dairy, I’ve found that it’s very difficult to say no to these delicious meals! Just yesterday my dad made chicken and sausage jambalaya. Oh man, did I want some!! While he prepared his ingredients, so did I, for veggie jambalaya! Pretty good!
Try it for yourself!

1 small sweet onion (diced)
1 large bell pepper (diced)
3 sticks of celery (diced)
1 small diced tomato
1 teaspoon thyme
1 skinny yellow squash (half inch slices)
5 dense baby Bella mushrooms (large slices)
3 cloves of garlic (smashed and minced)
1 jalapeño (cut to your liking)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Chachere’s Bold Creole seasoning (to taste)
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water

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In a deep pan, with a lid, put your oil, onions, bell pepper, celery, tomato and thyme. Sauté the veggies on high heat until they are cooked how you like. Then, bring it down to a low fire, throw in your squash, mushrooms, garlic, and jalapeño. Mix everything together and add your creole seasoning.

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Put your rice in, mix the pot so everything is mixed well, then poor the two cups of water over it. Place the lid on and leave it for about 45 minutes. Do not remove the lid or you’ll release all the steam. After 45 minutes, take off the lid, mix very little and taste. Add more seasoning, salt or pepper if needed. If the rice isn’t done put the lid on for a little longer more until tender. Remove the lid and enjoy!

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Black Bean Burgers

Mix black beans and these 10 yummy ingredients in a food processor and you’ll have the best fake burger you’ll ever eat! Haha! I’m not a vegetarian, so yes, black bean patties are fake burgers to me! Delicious fake burgers that is! Doing the Daniel Fast for 21 days this month is difficult for me, but with the support of my church members, and delicious veggie foods like this, I know I’m going to finish as a changed woman! Hah! Try out this bean patty, prepare it just like you would any other burger, and I’m sure you’ll love it, too! I eat mine protein style!

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink.

Daniel 1:8-20

So for this recipe, you can either start with fresh homemade black beans or you can use a can of pre-made black beans.

Homemade black beans…

Ingredients:
1 (16 oz) bag of dry black beans
2 bay leaves
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 tbsp of oil
Cold water

Directions:
Take the beans and let them soak in the cold water over night. Put the beans in a large pot on the stove and fill it 2 inches over the beans. They will soak up the water and be more tender. Drain (if there’s anything to drain) and rinse. Put the beans, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp of oil, and 4 cups of broth in the pot and cook on medium for about an hour and 20 minutes, or until beans are tender. The oil is optional, it just helps prevents foam during the boil. When all the beans are tender, take the 2 bay leaves out and strain any excess broth.

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To make the burger deliciousness…

Ingredients:

Cooked black beans
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 diced garlic clove
1 large chopped jalapeño (leave seeds and veins in if you want spice)
1 small lime
1 egg (optional)
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup bread crumbs (whole wheat)

Deliciousness directions:

In a food processor, put the beans, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, and onions and mix! Then add the egg (optional), salt, pepper, and cumin. Mix in the food processor until all is one consistency. Add the bread crumbs 1 table spoon at a time until the mixture becomes a thick paste-like consistency.

Pour the extra breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl to coat your patties in. Grab a handful size of your now made bean paste and shape into a patty. Lay the patty in the bread crumbs to coat both sides. Place your finished patties on wax paper and put them in the fridge for 20 minutes or until ready to cook. The colder, the better to work with. You can cook them just like a regular burger in a flat pan on the stove top for about 7 minutes each side, or in the oven on 350 for 5 minutes each side. Brown the patties and enjoy just like any other burger.

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I like to eat mine wrapped in lettuce, with mustard, tomato, pickles, and onion. I’ve also had it on a whole grain hamburger bun with all my fixings. So delicious!

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Christmas Tamales!!

The time is here! Yup, that’s right… Tamale season!!! The warm house that smells of steamed corn, marinated pork and beef… snacking on chicharrones, and jalapeños!

So every year my grandma, aunt, and I get together to make tamales for Christmas! We wake up early, throw our tamale making aprons on, and meet at grandmas house to drink our cups of coffee together! Then, we get to it! Mixing the corn dough with the vegetable shortening and broth, getting it the perfect consistency! We add salt as we go until it tastes just right! It’s a messy messy job, but our aprons love it!

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil…

Ecclesiastes 2:24

This time of year is my favorite because in my family, the way we show love is by feeding each other. These tamales used to sell for twenty dollars a dozen, but we no longer take orders. The only tamales we make are the batches we give out as gifts. The more food Grandma shoves in your mouth, the more she loves you! Every year she teaches me how to cook something new. Over the past few years she has taught me how to prepare each kind of meat, the pork, beef, chicken, all different kinda of salsas to make the same meat taste different, and even a simple jalapeño and cheese!

The key to making your jalapeño and cheese tamales is to add a little bit of root beer leaves! Also, we’ve tried all the different kinds of cheeses, make sure your masa is salted just right and use mozzarella cheese! Your cheese will melt, but still stay in your tamale!

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This year she taught me to make chicharrones tamales with a green salsa made from tomatillo. Let me tell you, the chicharrones aren’t crispy anymore once you are done steaming the tamales, but they are still quite delicious!

I truly cherish moments like the ones I made today because my grandma and aunt aren’t always going to be around. And the really scary thing is no one else knows how to make these tamales! Without their recipes, no more tamales! I know, what a horrible thing to say, but it’s true! So, please! Look at your life and cherish the moments. They can end at anytime!

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Once Is Nice, Twice Is Tradition!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! I know, I’m really late, but it’s pretty much my favorite holiday so I’m going to post about it anyways!!

I absolutely love Christmas time! To celebrate the life of Christ, get together with family, repeat traditions, eat amazing food, and give back to those who need it is so amazing! Don’t let me forget the cold weather, that’s the cherry on top! I will say though, I do get a little sad when I see Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving even arrives. We should enjoy the holiday season, every minute of it!

Thanksgiving is just as amazing as Christmas! It’s when the leaves have all turned from green to oranges and yellows. There is a delicious smell of hazelnut in the cool crisp air! One of the times of the year that family comes together, and everyone pulls their heads out of their asses to actually appreciate what’s in front of them! This is the time when we get to shine brighter than the stars and let the world really see our caring hearts!

I am fortunate enough to have a wonderful family to spend my Thanksgivings with. I understand those who don’t have that, and that’s why every year I choose to work on Thanksgiving as my holiday at work. I’ve been working with the elderly for a few years now, and something I’ve unfortunately come to learn, is a lot of them don’t have family to spend holidays with. Not just the elderly, a lot of people don’t. The older population have trouble getting around, and for many other reasons they can’t even cook those traditional holiday meals for themselves. This year I found myself cooking up a full breakfast for a sweet older couple to get their Thanksgiving Day started! They were so thankful, just like they are every other day I’m with them. The sweetest part, was I was asked to lead them in prayer before I left and they ate.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I got off work at 8 in the morning to come home and start cooking for my own family. Every year, since I was about 7 years old, it has been my tradition that I make the cranberry sauce for my families feast! So once I got home, I brought out the eggs, sausage, cilantro, tortillas, cheese, and salsa, and started to make breakfast for everyone. Haha! Yes, I was pretty tired so my priorities were a little off. That’s when I realized I needed to make the cranberries before I ate and fell asleep.

Delicious, tart cranberry sauce for the holidays!
1 bag of whole fresh cranberries
1 cup of apple cider (or apple juice)
2 naval oranges
3 sticks of cinnamon
1 cup of sugar

Over medium heat I put the cup of apple cider (or juice), the whole bag of fresh cranberries, 3 sticks of cinnamon, and the cup of sugar. Zest both oranges into the pot, then squeeze the juice of those two oranges into the pot. Stir and bring it to a boil. The cranberries should start to pop and the floating cranberries will start to become a thick chunky sauce. After the berries start to pop you can turn the stove off and let it cool enough to put into your serving dish. Let cool in the fridge until ready to eat!

I like to make the sauce early in the morning or even the night before, leaving the cinnamon sticks in it while it cools in the fridge. The flavors only get better with time!

Try making some for Christmas! I bet you’ll be so thankful I posted my not so secret recipe! Maybe it’ll become a tradition that you make the cranberry sauce every year. Enjoy!IMG_4417.JPG