Our Geek Home

Creating our geeky home together

Things are a bit hectic lately….

No recipes or gluten free restaurant recaps or vacation pictures or DIY stuff to be seen here today!

But I figured since I haven’t done a post in a while I would let you all know some stuff in the works.

We have completely gutted the old kitchen and moved it all over to the current house.  The house is a disaster from kitchen stuff scattered on every flat surface near the kitchen that isn’t floor.  We’ve been eating our meals either standing or on the couch for the last week.  We’ve been chipping away at the kitchen slowly, whenever there is a free moment.  Lots to share on that front when all is said and done!  Expect a few posts on the subject soonish.

We are currently without a stove, so my creatively has been flowing for gluten-free crock pot dishes.  I’ll share those as well once things calm down.  The trick is figuring out crock pot meals that don’t require the stove initially.  So far it has been going well.

On more home improvement projects, we have spent the days we have available when we are a bit burnt out on the kitchen harvesting bamboo.  It’s a rough process, but we are building a patio set out of it!  I’m very excited to share that once the harvesting is over and the building begins.

I have finally taken a house tour video.  Of course I took it while the house is a disaster from the kitchen, but that just means an after video will be so much better.  I’ll get that video up by next week!

So, that’s what has been going on.   Once things are calmer be prepared for quite a bit of posts!

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It’s the simple things…

So I just finished wolfing down this food..

010Other than the taste, the best part is that it is so incredibly simple.

Now usually when I post about food it involves recipes.  Not really so much here.  This is just a “Oh my goodness, yummy!” moment.

I used quinoa and rice pasta, which I find has been the best gluten free pasta texture and taste wise.  Sometimes I use zucchini noodles and sometimes I use spaghetti squash, but tonight I really wanted a pasta texture.  Comfort food, I suppose!

So I cooked up the noodles and cooked 2 pieces of chopped up bacon in a frying pan.  Once it was crispy I removed the bacon and tossed in some sliced up mushrooms sprinkled with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Once the pasta was tender, I drained and plated it, then tossed the bacon and cut up cherry (or grape, I really don’t know!) tomatoes in with the mushrooms before plating over the pasta.

Yum.  Yuuuum.  Yuuuuummmy.  Okay, see, really very simple.  But so incredibly satisfying too.  And it definitely hit the comfort food spot.

A lot of people think that gluten free foods are bland or that they take a huge amount of time.  While that can be true, it certainly doesn’t have to be!

 

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Bacon, Spinach, and Onion Chicken Roll-ups

This recipe was adapted from Bacon and Spinach Stuffed Chicken.

It was yummy!

Bacon, Spinach, and Onion Chicken Rollup

I used 3 large chicken breasts to make this.  Unfortunately, my chicken breasts were rather deformed.  That’s what I get for getting a big bag of frozen chicken breasts that I couldn’t see into.  When I make these again, and I will because of husbandly requests, I’ll use breasts that I actually see first!

001See?  Funky looking chicken breasts.  Anyhow, I butterflied them as much as possible, something I had never done before in my entire life.  Basically it involves cutting them just short of in half, and then opening the sides like a book.  After that I used my trusty rolling pin and smashed them flat…sort of.  It didn’t work as great as I would have liked, but the pieces were all basically the same thickness, so I went with it.  My husband and I joke that I’m a good cook, but not a good chef.  My technique leaves a lot to be desired!  After I made my topping, I scooped it on one side of the flattened chicken, then rolled them up and placed it open side down on a foil lined cookie sheet.  The act of cooking sealed the rolls shut pretty well!

Ok, to the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 butterflied and pounded flat chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces chopped mushrooms or 6 or 7 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 5 or 6 pieces of bacon, diced.  I used 6 because I had that many left in my package and leaving one lonely piece of bacon was unacceptable
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 F

Cook your diced up bacon in a skillet until crispy, remove the bacon pieces and set aside.  Toss (don’t literally toss, you’ll probably end up with bacon grease burns) your garlic, onion, and mushrooms in the skillet, cooking in the bacon grease.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cook until onion is soft and translucent.  Reduce heat to low and add your spinach to the pan,mix around and cook until spinach is wilted looking. Add in your cooked bacon. Remove from heat.

Spoon your topping onto your flattened chicken, roll up and place on your pan open side down.  There should be some overlapping on the open side, so don’t worry, it wont spill out.  Cook for 20-25 minutes.  Mine took 25 minutes to cook.

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Eat up, and enjoy!

So the next post I make will probably not be food related.  I have to get the whole Geek Home portion of the blog!

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Food and Why We Eat This Way. Meatloaf Cupcakes and Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies

As promised, a food post!

Back story time.  In 2010, shortly after we got married, I almost died due to a lack of adequate amounts of iron in my blood.  I was eating “right” but no matter what I did I was severely anemic.  After I had to crawl my way to the bathroom one day because I had no energy, I ended up in the ER.  There’s more to the story, and perhaps I’ll share the whole thing at some point, but for now I’ll just say I spent the next two years going to a hematologist and getting iron infusions once a week, every single week.

That is…until March of last year.  I was tired of getting infusions every week.  I was tired of being tired all the time.  So I took processed foods out of my life and ate closer to a Primal way.  Two weeks is all it took for me to not need infusions anymore.  Two Weeks.

Through this whole process I realized a few things about what I was eating before.  I am gluten intolerant.  Gluten causes anxiety, severe indigestion, heart palpitations, and obviously anemia in me.  I am also soy and added hormone sensitive.  Artificial food additives and artificial preservatives cause me problems.  So, here I am, probably eating what would be a considered a very “clean” diet.  But it’s not a diet for me.  It’s a lifestyle.  It has to be for me, unless I want to go back to getting infusions on a weekly basis and not being able to go up the stairs without a racing heart.

The benefits, other than the obvious iron improvements, have been many.  But the one people would be interested in the most is probably the weight.  It’s embarrassing and I’m still losing, but I have lost a lot.  My former heavily processed foods diet was not working.  And even when I was eating what most people considered healthy, I still gained.  And I was still quite obese.  I’m overweight now but I still have a long way to go.

February 2012

February 2012

February 2013

February 2013

That’s a 55 pound difference in less than a year.  Not insignificant!

Anyhow, long back story, get on with the food!

Last night I made mini meatloaf cupcakes with mashed cauliflower.  Yum

Ingredients for the meatloaf:

  • 2 pounds ground meat.  I used beef, you can use turkey or chicken or mix and match!
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp raw coconut aminos, or soy sauce if you don’t have sensitivities
  • 1 egg
  • sprinkling of salt and pepper, don’t be shy

Preheat oven to 350 F

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix thoroughly.  Really get in there and squish it around.  That’s part of the fun of making a meatloaf. Grease a muffin pan with oil of your choice, then fill it on up!

401Ignore the dirty oven…we will be replacing it in the future.

Bake for 40 minutes.  You can top with your mashed cauliflower if you wish, or serve it on the side, or don’t serve it at all!  I served it on the side.

Mashed Cauliflower Ingredients :

  • One head cauliflower or frozen cauliflower, one bag worth
  • 2 cups chicken broth, optional
  • 4 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • garlic salt, to taste

You can steam or boil, but to add a really rich flavor I always steam the cauliflower with the chicken broth.  You can use water if you wish, but I enjoy the flavor more of the broth steamed cauliflower.  Let steam until the cauliflower is easily mash-able.  You’re looking for an over steamed texture.

396Pour cauliflower into a stand mixer or food processor.  Added melted butter or coconut oil and spices of choice.  Mix until you get a lumpy mashed potato look.

And there you have it.  Meatloaf cupcakes with mashed cauliflower.   I wish I had an after shot, but I was too hungry apparently!

And now, dessert.

Flour-less Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies

400Full disclosure..When I made these in the past they did not spread out that much, but I made this batch during a rain storm.  Weather matters when baking, very important to remember that!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar.  I used raw sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt
  • jelly, your choice

Preheat oven to 350 F

Beat almond butter and sugars together in a mixing bowl until combined.  Add your egg and vanilla next, mix for roughly 2 minutes.  Add baking soda and salt for another 2 minutes until well combined.

Roll your dough into balls and put on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

388After this step, I stuck the pan into the fridge for 15 minutes to let the dough harden a bit.

Once chilled, make a small imprint in your cookie by pressing your finger down in the center.

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Fill the indentation with jelly of your choice.

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Bake for 10-15 minutes until cookies are firm. Let cool and then enjoy!

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