Friday, April 19, 2013

Vegetable Laksa

May this curry find its way into your happy little heart . . . and belly. It is definitely one of our new favorites! Will and I didn't quite bond with the rice noodles like we'd hoped (as seen in this photo), but we loved the Vegetable Laksa over brown rice. The next time I make this recipe my plan is to either use Singapore rice noodles, which are much thinner than these Pad Thai rice noodles, or cook the rice noodles longer so that they're softer—they were too stiff to enjoy in the same bite with the veggies and curry.

3/4 pound (350 grams) rice noodles, Singapore noodles, or brown rice, cooked according to package
2 tablespoons coconut oil
5 tablespoons Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
1 (14.5 oz.) can vegetable broth
3/4 cup carrots, sliced into batons
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into strips
3/4 cup small zucchini, sliced into batons
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari*
Cilantro, chopped

1. Place coconut oil in frying pan and add curry. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
2. Add vegetable broth and carrots, and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook for 1minute.
3. Add coconut milk, zucchini, and red bell pepper, and cook until tender.
4. Remove from heat. Add soy sauce and cilantro.
5. Pour over noodles or rice and serve.

*If you are making this recipe gluten free, make sure you use gluten-free soy sauce.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Honey Cornbread Muffins (and, yes, they are gluten free!)

I feel like I'm constantly on a quest for gluten-free recipes for waffles, pancakes, muffins, breads, etc. Most of them I just don't rave about. It's always a thrill when I create something in the kitchen that is made with a flour other than wheat that actually tastes delicious, is light and fluffy, and is a similar consistency to the wheat version! Are you with me? Well, tonight I present to you a very tasty cornbread muffin recipe that literally tastes like it came from the comfort of your mama's kitchen.

Makes 18 muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup coconut milk
2 medium eggs
3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup raw honey*

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
3. In a separate large bowl mix together milk, eggs, apple sauce, coconut oil, and honey.
4. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring to combine.
5. Place paper muffin liners in muffin tins and divide the muffin batter evenly.
6. Bake 15 minutes or until golden.
*Suggestion: If you love spreading honey over your cornbread or you know your family will still want to put honey on top of these muffins, consider eliminating the honey from the batter or at least lessening it. The muffins are sweet and delicious without needing honey spread over top.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Snoring Has Finally Met Its Match: Thyme

mmarcotte51 / / CC BY
If you could choose between sleeping peacefully through the night or waking up every few hours and not being able to fall back asleep, which would you choose? It's pretty safe to say that most, if not all, of us treasure our sleep enough that we would do anything to get a good night's rest. Anything!

According to a study at the University of North Carolina, 30 percent of women and 40 percent of men snore, although those numbers depend on the person surveyed actually being aware that they snore. This study is to test how making lesions on the soft palate by heating a needle electrode with radio frequency energy can tighten up the soft palate to potentially eliminate snoring. I'm telling you this to illustrate how we as a society are going to great lengths to find ways to get rid of snoring—it disrupts our sleep and the sleep of the people around us.

This Friday Will and I are going on three months being married! We are so in love (I just had to throw that in there) and have so much fun together. Who knew it'd be worth the wait to find a love that would happen so naturally and easily (compared to ALL the other attempts of trying to force love and "make it work") and find the person who would make us truly the happiest? I am so grateful for this man.

Well when we were dating I found out that Will snored. And not just snored but raised the roof with his snores and woke neighboring cities. His friends and family know this from personal experience, and Will was well aware of it too. So I started praying really hard that he'd stop snoring by the time we got married. Didn't work. I told Will to do positive affirmations, which he kindly told me he'd do, but to be honest I'll have to ask him if he really did them. We looked up the emotions on snoring, and I researched the meridians associated with snoring in Chinese medicine. After three months of ear plugs and experimenting and lots of nights lying awake, what would you say if I told you we have found something that works??

Jack Fussell / / CC BY-NC-ND
Thyme. Yes, thyme was our unsuspecting answer! You know, the plant you cook with? The herb? We bought the essential oil Thyme almost a month ago, not even realizing it is known to help with snoring. About three weeks ago we read how you can help snoring if you rub it on the bottoms of your feet before going to bed at night, specifically at the base of the big toe, and Will started doing it. After two days there was no change, and he stopped putting it on. Then maybe a week later Will decided to give it another try and started putting it on religiously—he keeps the bottle of thyme on his nightstand, and it's now become part of his bedtime routine. (Really I am just trying to give him things to do before bed since my bedtime routine is like an hour and his is 2 minutes. We regularly discuss this imbalance and the unfairness of life.)

After about a week I still didn't notice much of a change in his snoring, BUT the second week I noticed that if he was snoring, all I had to do to get him to stop was gently touch his arm, not even waking him up. This was a huge breakthrough! Before Will started using Thyme if I nudged him he'd stop snoring for 5 seconds, roll over, and start snoring again. On average this second week I would touch his arm to stop his snoring about three times a night. 

Now into the third week, I would classify Will as a non-snorer! I know, crazy, huh? If you don't believe me, you are welcome to sleep on the floor beside our bed tonight. This is the truth. The snoring has changed to a very deep breathing that is free of any rattle and does not wake either of us up. Sometimes he will do a few seconds of sounds that would typically turn into a snore, but then they stop. It is magical, really—heavenly! And, to be honest, surprising. I knew essential oils worked great for preventing colds and for helping with my arthritis, but now I know even more so not to limit their possibilities. Who knew thyme was where it was at?

UPDATE: Click here to read the part II to this post.