Thursday, August 30, 2012

Things I Love Thursday


Let's talk about things I love...besides these two crazy kiddos!

I have noticed lately that all my blogger buddies have specific days devoted to specific types of posts...What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) was a common theme and one I plan to implement eventually.

But when I really thought about it I knew that Things I Love Thursday (TILT) was a much better place to start!

I have recently run into a few wonderful ladies that are either now on the gluten free path or highly considering it for themselves or their children. They have no idea where to start! I remember that point...completely.

4 years ago.

Gluten and I don't get along.

Ok, now what?

There is freaking gluten in EVERYTHING!

I mean everything...bread, pasta, pastries, muffins, cake, sauces, gravy, pie, Kit Kats (yeah, that matters), croissants...well the list goes on...and it's daunting.

I wish I could have had someone to help me through the maze of gluten free offerings. Cause frankly, some of them suck. Like cardboard might taste better kind of suck.

So here I am...years later...I've made my way through the maze and found truly great products. I am now in a position to help someone else through.

And so TILT was born. Every week I'll feature some of my new and old favs in the gluten free world. Some are for me, some for my kids (yep, they are GF too), some are vegan, and some aren't. But they all are tested by myself and my family...and they all rock. Seriously. So here we go!

Bread was probably my first issue...I searched high and low for my fav...and here it is! Either Rudi's or Udi's are great (but the commissary...for my military folks...carries Rudi's).

 Pasta was another early issue.  Finding one that had the same taste and texture of it's glutinous counterparts was difficult...and required lots of taste testing (let's just say my dogs eat well).  I finally found Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta and was it's also sold at the commissary!

Snacks were an early concern and luckily I quickly found these little gems of a snack in Glutino pretzels...I dare say they even outshine regular pretzels (and are now available at the commy as well!).

I did however have to go a long time without my fav snack, Goldfish.  I finally recently found these Schar cheese bites and I'm in love!  I've only found them at the Eastlake Sprouts but I'm sure they are available elsewhere.

As for my kiddos, they had a few requirements as well.  On the top of their list was waffles...the love waffles...with a kid like passion.  We were fortunate to find Vans waffles really early in our GF journey.  They come in many flavors and are available at the commissary as well.

Also a childhood staple is chicken nuggets...after searching for a while we settled on the Ian's brand and have been happy consumers ever since...sadly they are not available at commissary but widely available elsewhere.

My kids also really missed pizza...while there are multiple brands of premade crusts and frozen pizzas, my little chefs like creating their own pies.  Luckily my buddy Bex found this Bobs Red Mill crust mix and we've been making our own crust ever since.  It takes a bit more work but the outcome is totally worth it!

Lastly, our family's favorite breakfast staple...sausage links.  I abhor artificial ingredients and preservatives...and GF obviously.  These Jones sausages have none of the above and taste fantastic!  They are also uber cheap at the commissary (like $1 a box!).

I think that's a good start for now...there will be more TILT to come next week!

You didn't think I was going to leave you without a recipe, did you?

In keeping with the TILT theme I offer up one of my favs...vegan (can be vegetarian) enchilada casserole.  It's easy to make and heavenly to eat! 

It also includes a few more of my favorite products like Daiya cheese and all natural tortillas (again, I hate preservatives...and yes I'm aware they pic is upside down but I'm tired of fighting the darn computer!).  Hope you like it!


Vegan/Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 small green bell peppers (any color will do)
  • 2 zucchini squash
  • 2 cans organic black beans
  • 2 whole tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (I use mild for the kids)
  • Daiya chedder cheese to cover enchiladas (approx 1 package) or regular shredded mexican cheese
  • Corn tortillas
Dice all vegetables into small pieces. Cook in large saucepan with drained beans until tender. Add cilantro, salt, cumin, and 1/2 C of enchilada sauce. Spray baking pans with cooking spray. Layer corn tortillas along bottom of pan. Pour vegetable mixture over top. Layer another layer corn tortillas over vegetables. Layer Daiya cheese (or regular cheese over top). Pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until bubbly.
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jump for JOY!

Literally...I'm kind of jumping for joy.  My two nights of work are done (with no crazy mishaps) and I have two nights off (I've been doing only 1 night off for a while and it's exhausting!). juice cleanse is done!  I will admit I'm not a total fan.  But I feel lighter and a bit "cleaner."  It was an experience for sure but doing it while working was hard...except I did have the company of these two beautiful ladies to help me!
Showing off our white tongues as we detox...yum!
I may do a 24 hour juice cleanse monthly though just to keep things clean and detoxed.  Kris Carr in her book Crazy, Sexy, Diet advocates this idea as a way to periodically "clean house."  She does it weekly but I'll take baby steps.  As you may remember I have reason to keep things clean internally and not let the little cancer bugs back in my life...
Anyway, here is a little juice "porn" of the mixes I had for the past few days...
So much loveliness going into the juice!

Beet, apple, cucumber
Carrot and ginger (my fav)

Greens (kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, parsley, romaine) and apple, plum on top of carrot 
But now it's back to real food as I wind down with some green smoothie love and some veggies...luckily my kids wanted in and had some smoothie love with me (they specifically requested lettuce in theirs)

Tomorrow is a full day off and I'll spend it training to my little hearts content and then cooking up a storm as I whip up some new recipes I've been thinking over...let's just say I've been super inspired lately by the fabulous woman behind Sprint 2 The Table and her amazing look for some carrot loving coming your way soon (not in this form...more of a muffin, but inspiration is inspiration)...
Speaking of inspired, I was majorly inspired recently as I gazed longingly on an Almond Joy bar that I couldn't bring myself to much crap included.  I KNEW I could improve on I threw some things together...
...and VOILA!!!
Jump For (Almond) JOY Bars!!!
It's a revelation for me!!  I LOVE Almond Joy bars and these are a great substitute...they even got the hubby's seal of approval.  Enjoy until next time!
Jump for (Almond) Joy Bars
by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: N/A

Ingredients (10 bars)
  • 1/2 C coconut flakes
  • 1/4 C dried tart cherries
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened carob chips
  • 1/2 C raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp raw coconut crystals
  • 1 tsp maca root powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 4 tbsp agave
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well mixed.  Keep scraping sides of bowl to thoroughly mix.  Use extra coconut oil to well grease sheet of parchment paper.  Roll out mix onto sheet and cut into 10 small bars.  Place in fridge to set.  Devour as needed to feel amazing!
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Monday, August 27, 2012


Kale, spinach, carrot, apple, cucumber, romaine lettuce, and ginger

You know when your computer freezes up...won't work...and you have to reboot it?


Yeah, that's what I'm going to do with my body.  Summer is over...I had some dietary fun over the last few months and it's time to clean house a bit.  I was also uber inspiried by this to embark on this challenge.  To start that I'm going on a 3 days juice cleanse (though I messed up already and made 1 smoothie!!).  No more...straight juice...for 3 days.  Wish me luck.  I'll complain blog about it when I'm done for sure!

For today though it was another life milestone in our I said...summer is over...

The kids went back to school!!

Shanne (my big 3rd grader) and Addy (my whittle kindergartner)

Not only that, but my Addy...started kindergarten!!

Not gonna lie, I shed a few tears.  But I'm also super excited to be able to have entire free days to train, shop, cook, blog...whatever I want!!  Holy cow that's exciting!!

Today's free time was utilized properly with a 3500 meter swim as I prep for Nautica Malibu Triathlon on September 15th.

It was a great swim on a beautiful sunny day...but now it's nap time as I prep for 2 more nights of work (and hopefully no more mishaps!).

But first I'll leave you with a new recipe created yesterday as I had 2 little children clamoring for different meals for breakfast...Addy wanted a PB&J sandwich and Shanne wanted pancakes...what's a mama to do?  Make PB&J pancakes of course!

Quick, easy, tasty.  I semi-cheated and used Bisquick GF mix (kiddos are GF too).

And I finally got to use my new PB2 that I found at the commissary of all places!

But the end result was still fabulous and eventually I will make it from scratch...but for now this works!  Enjoy and have a fabulous beginning of your week!

PB&J Pancakes

by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (Serves 2 hungry kiddos (8 smal)
  • 1 cup GF Bisquick mix
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • Fruit preserves/jelly (I used organic strawberry)
  • Warm water to thin
Mix bisquick, oil, agave, almond milk and PB2 in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl mix flax and warm water. Add flax mixture to large bowl. Mix until well blended. Spoon onto hot griddle coated with cooking spray or coconut oil in dollops. Flip when bubbly on edges.
Meanwhile mix preserves with warm water until desired consistency is reached. Serve over hot cakes.
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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Eye See You!

Yep, that's me on the left...and my buddy Alli on the right

I'm an ICU nurse.  More specifically I'm an MICU (medical intensive care) nurse.  There are many "dangers" that are part and parcel of my job.  I've been kicked, hit, spit on, poked (literally by my own fault), yelled name it, it's probably happened to me.  I take care of the sickest of the sick when they have no where else to turn.  And I love every minute of it...usually.

Let's segway a bit and talk about my coworkers.  They are truly the best ever.  They are my second family and some of my best friends.  We all have a sense of humor that no one else would understand.  We help each other, we support each other, we laugh at each other, we are just THERE for each other.

See, we really like each other!

We also potluck with each other...ALOT.  MICU has a reputation for potlucks.  I remember when I came to night shift, the first thing they said was that I needed to always participate in the potlucks...they are mandatory.  This sounded great...except for the fact that for someone who is gluten free (and later vegan) the early days of our potlucks were a nightmare.  I could usually only eat what I brought.  Through time, education, pestering, and trust they started to come around.  Potlucks became healthier with way more gluten free options.  People caught on.  They learned what I could and couldn't eat...and more importantly they cared.

Jenny and I doing our 'thang

Ok, now back to my story.  It was potluck night.  I made a fabulous salad (hold your horses the recipe is at the end of the story).  I was so excited to eat it!  It was a night set aside for a "healthy potluck."  Right up my alley.........

Then life happened, my job happened, the ICU curse happened...

It was awful...

I got unmentionable "stuff" in my right eye...IN my right eye.

This is our OMG!  EWWWW face...




Yeah, I told you my job has inherent dangers.  I made my way begrudgingly downstairs to the ED (emergency department) to have my eye washed out after standing in the eye wash (aka the freaking jet blast of water directly into your eye!) for 2 minutes.  I had no idea what to expect.  Once there they lead me to a quiet little room where they proceeded to tell me that they would be numbing my eye with drops, then attaching a contact lense type suction cup directly to my eyeball and washing it out with 2L of NS (normal saline).


I am a girl who wouldn't wear contact lenses if my life depended on it.  I hate touching my eyes...geez, I hate OTHER people touching their own eyes.  And you want to do what????

Fine, whatever...don't expect me to be happy about it, just get it over with quickly.

So I laid there...looking like this...

Seriously...not cool (well actually it was freezing)

For TWO hours!!!!

Yeah, you read that right, 2 hours.  And to top it all off I was soaking wet and cold...that 2 liters of fluid had to go somewhere so it soaked directly into my scrub top.

Not so happy face after I'm done

Oh...and I was missing the healthy potluck...and my salad!!

So once I was done a mere 3 hours after I left the unit I headed back to work...I looked awesome.

But I got to eat...and my eye was clean...really, really clean.

It was time to enjoy my Eye See You Quinoa Lentil you get the name??  Pretty fitting huh?  Don't worry, it's not bad luck...I ate it again the next night and all was well.

Eye See You Quinoa Lentil Salad

by Jaclyn Trosper
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: N/A
Keywords: side entree salad vegan vegetarian gluten-free potluck

Ingredients (serves 10)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cube vegan boullion
  • 1 package cooked lentils or 2.5 cups cooked lentils
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/4 cup basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts
  • 4 small cooked beets chopped
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • Balsalmic vinegar, salt, pepper to taste
Cook quinoa in water with bouillon according to package directions (I used a rice cooker). Once cooked and cooled mix with remaining ingredients in a large bowl (preferably one you can take to a potluck!). Stir in balsalmic, salt, and you are ready to rock your potluck!
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