Umami Meatloaf

Umami,savory taste, is one of the five basic tastes, together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. A loanword from the Japanese, umami can be translated “pleasant savory taste”. – Wikipedia

Are you craving a rich, meaty dish for dinner? Umami Meatloaf is a favorite hearty main course, best savored in small bites for its satisfying flavor. Candida, Dairy and Gluten-free.

2 lbs extra-lean ground beef                                   1 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chopped onion                                           1/2 cup water

2 beaten eggs (optional)                                         1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them thoroughly. Pack into a loaf pan (or a 9×9 cake pan will do). Bake for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes, then cut into slices or squares, and serve.

Adding the eggs to this recipe makes a firmer loaf that holds together better in a loaf pan. In my household we make Umami meatloaf in a shallow 9×9 pan without eggs and it holds its shape just fine – and tastes just as delicious, if a little crumbly!

Pecan Pie Granola

I_Heart_GranolaPecan Pie Granola

This granola is a filling and hearty breakfast that can be enjoyed on a Candida program. Serve it with freshly-blended cashew milk. It has a sweet and toasty, satisfying crunch.

Pecan Pie Granola can be made gluten-free by substituting the barley, spelt and oats for gluten-free rolled grains, and trading the wheatgerm for ground almonds or coconut.

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup each of:

  • Rolled Barley
  • Rolled Oats
  • Rolled Spelt
  • Wheatgerm
  • Cashew pieces
  • Slivered Almonds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pecan pieces
  • Shredded Unsweetened Coconut

Plus:

  • ¼ cup Bee Pollen granules
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs (optional, for those who like bitter chocolate)

Mix the above ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine and mix the following spices:

  • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Clove
  • 2 tbsps. Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia extract powder
  • ½ tsp. sea salt

Add the mixed spices to the grains and stir gently. Combine the following ingredients in a small pot on the lowest heat (just enough to melt the coconut oil).

  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Almond extract
  • Small (160ml or 5oz) can of coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp. coconut oil

Once melted, pour over the grains and spices and mix it all together thoroughly with a large spoon or clean hands.

Spread the granola over a baking sheet and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to prevent it from browning excessively. Remove the hot granola from the oven and allow to cool on baking sheet. Store in an airtight container once completely cool, at room temperature. Makes 5 cups or 20 servings.

* Recipe by Kalyn Byrne 2013

Blackberry Lemon Fizz

blackberriesThis is so simple, I can barely call it a recipe. One way to increase your water intake and satisfy the urge to snack is to become a master of making fancy beverages. Combine your daily serving of fruit with some club soda, lemon, or herbal tea to make a variety of alcohol-free cocktails. This is but one example:

Blackberry Lemon Fizz

1/2 handful of ripe blackberries                                                                                            1/4 lemon                                                                                                                         350ml (10oz) Club Soda or Sparkling Water

In a tall glass or tumbler, squeeze the 1/4 lemon to extract the juice; if it is organic, throw the peel into the bottom of the tumbler. Add 1/2 handful blackberries. Fill the glass 1/3 full of club soda/sparkling water and mash everything up with a mortar (or other blunt instrument if you have no mortars lying around). Fill the glass up to the rest of the way and serve. Or put an umbrella in it if that makes you happy!

Enjoy your cocktails frequently, with varying ingredients as suits your mood. Remember to stick to your daily fruit allowance if you are on a Candida program.

 

Fresh Blended Nut Milk

nuts-seeds-organic

It only takes 30 seconds to whip up some nut milk for your coffee or granola. Here is the quick method I use each morning.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup raw nuts or seeds (pecans, cashews, almonds, filberts, walnuts, brazil nuts or shelled seeds from hemp, pumpkin or sunflower all make delicious milks)
  • 1/2 cup water (or just enough to cover the nuts/seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • pinch salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree on high for 1 minute or so, until you get a smooth mixture. Add 500ml (16oz) water and puree again for another minute.

Pour the nut milk into a nylon bag (like a jelly bag or a nut milk bag) and squeeze to extract all of the liquid. Store your nut milk in the refrigerator and use within 3 days, shaking before use if it separates.  If you are putting the nut milk in a recipe or on granola, you don’t have to strain it at all.

nutmilk blender
Cashews, cranberries, matcha, inulin and vanilla extract, ready to become nut milk.

Yummy additions to your nut milk:

– frozen or fresh cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc            -matcha green tea powder               – real almond or orange extract        – stevia or inulin for a hint of sweetness                                        – cacao or vanilla powder                 – substitute prepared tea for water in the recipe

I would love to hear your favorite nut milk flavors and additions in the comments below!

Don’t forget to use the leftover strained nut/seed granules in recipes in place of flour – my raw vegan friend has a recipe for dehydrator cookies I will try to post in the future. Ciao!

Candida-Free Phase 1: Detox & Get Psyched

mr-clean Candida-Free Phase 1: Detox & Get Psyched

Starting off a Candida cleanse with a general detox serves multiple purposes:

1. prepares the exit channels of the body to handle the mass of toxins that will be leaving during the program

2. clears out excess mucus and material from the GI tract, to enhance absorption of nutrients, and leaves behind an environment unsuitable for yeast

3. shortens the duration of the candida program, sometimes by as much as half

As if the reasons above are not enough, a good detox will also allow our lymph to flow optimally, and begin us on our way to balanced blood sugar. All this makes a detox a great first strike for our program.

It also gives us a milestone; after 12 days of detoxing I feel clear-headed, alive, and proud of the accomplishment – which is a wonderful way to start the candida program!

My first enthusiastic urge was to make my own 10-day tea-based detox, along with the diet prescribed in Candida cleansing. This is fine and good; however, when I cleanse, I can get cranky (especially in the first few days). The intial detox will be the time during which some of us (me, maybe you, too) will deal with our worst cravings; so, I’ve decided having to prepare teas everyday is going to be an extra stress I can do without!

Wild-Rose-DetoxFor the purpose of keeping it simple, I will be using the Wild Rose 12-day D-tox; it’s an easy to use, pre-boxed detox kit so it requires little effort on my part. It’s also familiar to me and I know how my body reacts when I use it. There are a number of great detox kits in your local health food store, I don’t endorse any one in particular, and I would love to hear which one you have chosen on facebook or in the comments section below.

Another way I can make this detox effort-less is to plan a menu and prepare frozen meals. I plan a large meal for each day, a few sides for lunches and breakfasts, then fill in the corners with cooked or fresh veggies, nuts and seeds, and my daily piece of fruit. For a peep at my menu, click here. I like to double the freezable recipes, then store them for those nights I don’t have time to cook.


psyched_babyHow I Getting Psyched Up for a Months-Long Cleanse:

1. Be mentally prepped for those first few nights of cravings (flower essence!)

2. Say a sweet goodbye to my favourite food, goat cheese with cranberries (I’ll think of you often, then, not-so-much)

3. Get a promise from my life-partner not to eat junk-food anywhere near me

4. Have my low-effort detox plan, and my squirrel stash of ready-to-eat foods

5. Stay busy: fill the time I normally get cravings with fun activities (for my first night of cleansing, I’m drinking a kava concoction and whiling away the hours reading fortune cards with my dear old friend Miriam)

I believe I am prepared to embark on the first leg of my cruise into Candida-Free land! The next blog will be about cravings and snacking and will be out tomorrow. Look out for Candida-Free Phase 2: The Candida Program sometime before January 17th. Cheers!

 

Crunchy Chickpea Snacks

Crunchy Chickpea SnacksCrunchy Chickpeas Snacks

I found this high-fiber treat in 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains by Andrea Chesman, an astonishingly thorough resources for cleanse-friendly vegetarian or gluten-free protein options. I will be using a lot of her recipes throughout the cleanse to broaden my experience of grains and legumes.

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked chickpeas                              6 cups water                                              1 tsp ground cumin                                           4 tbsps Louisiana hot sauce                     Garlic powder                                                    Salt

In a medium saucepan, combine the beans with the water and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 1 hour. Drain well. Toss the beans with the hot sauce and cumin.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (cleanse modification: coat lightly with coconut oil). Bake for about 25 minutes, until the beans start popping, shaking the baking sheet a few times while they bake. Reduce the heat to 325 degrees and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the beans are well-browned and crunchy. Sprinkle the chickpeas with garlic powder and salt to taste and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Source: 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Rice, Beans, and Grains by Andrea Chesman (Penguin Books, 1998).

Crispy, Crunchy Greens

A Toasty bowl of Crispy Greens.

 Crispy Crunchy Greens

I can’t make these melt-in-your-mouth crispy greens fast enough to keep up with demand, which makes them an extra-special occasional treat. This recipe is super easy, and can be made in the oven or a dehydrator.

Ingredients:

8-10 cups fresh leafy greens (any combination of leaves from dandelion, spinach, kale, beets, sage, mustard greens, arugula and swiss/rainbow chard)

2-4 tbsps Coconut oil, melted (Olive or another vegetable oil will do in a pinch)

seasonings to your taste (pinches of cayenne, salt and pepper, garlic or onion powder, or other favourite flavours)

– 2-3 tbsps almond butter or tahini

1. Preheat oven to 350 F (see step 5 for dehydrator instructions). Wash leafy greens and spin or dry them as much as possible. If your greens have thick center stems in the leaves, cut out and discard them. Put the greens in a large bowl.

2. Combine the oil, almond butter/tahini and spices until well blended. Drizzle this mixture over the greens, and, using a spoon or clean hands, rub or toss the greens until each leaf is lightly coated.

3. Lay the coated greens in a single layer (or close to) on a baking sheet and put them in the oven. Keep a sharp eye on them over the next 4-8 minutes as they crisp very quickly (I have burned more than a few batches in my day). The edges may brown slightly before the center of the leaves are crisp.

4. Remove and allow the greens to cool slightly on their trays, then use a spatula to carefully lift them onto a flat surface to cool completely. They keep crispy best when stored in a ziploc in the refrigerator.

5.  Dehydrator Method: After coating your crisps, lay them in a single layer (or close to) in your dehydrator. Making green crisps in the dehydrator takes between 1-3 hours, but allows you to walk away from them and do other things without the risk of burning them. You will know they are done when they are thoroughly crispy. Another advantage to using the dehydrator method is that you can coat your chips with heart-healthy PUFAs (poly-unsaturated fatty acids), due to the lower temperature.

These crisps make a nice substitute for croutons in a salad, or to sprinkle on baked potatoes. They are so tasty, they probably won’t last more than a day or two anyway. Enjoy!

Anti-Fungal Teas Fast-Track Candida-Cleanse Success

My Favourite Anti-Candida Herbal Teas.

Anti-Fungal Teas Can Fast-track Your Candida Program

Many of the traditional herbal teas we consume for flavor or other benefits provide anti-candida effects. Two of my favorite anti-fungal teas are Pau d’Arco  and Lemongrass. While there are many effective maintenance teas that are good for in between cleanses, these two herbs are especially powerful anti-fungal agents, best used as part of a targeted cleansing program. In fact,  consuming them regularly during your cleanse can cut the length of your program in half!

The most efficient and pleasant way to consume Pau d’Arco bark (Tabebuia avellanedae & spp.) and Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus & spp.)is as a strong decoction (a water extract made by boiling the herb). A standard infusion will not extract the necessary phytochemicals, and is a waste of good herb. Instructions are given below for a simple, concentrated tea that can be stored in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks – although it’s likely you will be drinking it faster than that!

Pau d’Arco has a very weak bitter/bland taste, easily overpowered by other flavors, making it an excellent base for any other beverage you enjoy. It is a powerful anti-microbial effective against a myriad of fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites.

Lemongrass tastes, to my tongue, just like the Lipton Lemon Iced Tea mix my Mom made for the family when I was a kid, but much less sweet. It lends its flavor to this tea, masking the pau d’arco and providing a refreshing lemony tang. Lemongrass has anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties. It is commonly used in Thai cooking and has GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) rating from the FDA in the United States.

Please note: While both of these herbs in appropriate doses are very safe, I would not recommend them (or cleansing in general for that matter) to pregnant women.

Instructions for the ‘Anti-Candida potion‘ appear below. Consume 1/2 cup – 1 cup of this simple tea throughout the day for the first 3 months of your Candida cleanse. This recipe makes 2 liters, which stores easily in a juice jug in the refrigerator; 2 liters provides 8-16 daily doses, so you only have to make it 2 or 3 times per month.

You can add 1/2 – 1 cup daily to other liquids such as soup, coffee, or tea. Can be consumed straight as an iced tea or reheated. I usually just put mine in my water bottle and enjoy it as a weak tea all day.

Easy Anti-Candida Potion

1/2 cup loose pau d’arco dry bark, shredded

1/2 cup lemongrass stalk (fresh or dry), shredded

2 liters & 1/2 cup water

large pot for boiling (glass or ceramic is best but stainless steel will do)

Put herbs in the pot and pour water over them. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Allow to cool; strain and store, covered, in the refrigerator.

While this tea is clearing the terrain in your colon, be sure to repopulate with healthy bacteria (sometimes called ‘probiotics’). These little guys are essential to your digestion and immune system; they are found in traditionally fermented foods such as real sour kraut, kefir, true yogurt, and kim chi. More on fermented foods and the friendly bacteria later!

References:

Western Materia Medica Course Manual by Terry WIllard Cl.H., PhD, Wild Rose College, 2011.

Scientific basis for the therapeutic use of Cymbopogon citratus, stapf (Lemon grass) Gagan Shah, Richa Shri,1 Vivek Panchal,2 Narender Sharma,3 Bharpur Singh, and A. S. Mann, J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2011 Jan-Mar; 2(1): 3–8.