Not Just Tofu

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Gluten-free Makes a Difference

In Diet, Editorial, Uncategorized on August 16, 2016 at 8:34 pm

IMG_20160803_1140453I took a break to fix my diet, to better my health, to figure out my relationship with food.  I’m glad to say that I have been feeling better than usual and I think it is because of my diet. I use to ask my rheumatologist  about diet and Lupus and he would say “there is no scientific proof that it will make a change in how I feel.” All the proof I need is how I feel.

Prior to changing my diet, I felt sluggish and absent minded.  I also lived my life as if were Russian roulette, never knowing how I would feel when I wake up.  Can’t say that everyday is not a gamble but I live with the game in my favor.  It doesn’t mean I’m not sick because I have bad days but I don’t feel as defeated as I use to.  For the first time I was able to take a vacation without thinking I will be sick for most of the vacation.  Did I get, sick? Yes but I was able to turn it around in less time and I do believe it is because of my diet.

I don’t eat or at least try not to eat gluten and soy foods which include bread, cereal, cookies, cake and pasta.  I have been able to find some great substitutes for my cravings and other things I have had to just forget about.  What is the biggest challenge?  Eating on the go, is next to impossible.  No burgers (not even vegetarian), sandwiches or pizza for me and they were my usual go to foods.  Now my go to is sushi and boy do I love sushi!  My favorite is spicy tuna rolls from this one restaurant close to me.  In a thousand years, I never thought I would eat raw fish but there were more bonuses than there were cons.  It is affordable, convenient to eat on the road, healthy and most of all yummy; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

So you think that I would be the healthiest eater due to my new diet.  Not so much. I don’t eat as much junk food or fast food due to the limitations and it has helped me to finally lose over 10 pounds.  Unfortunately I skip meals because what I’ve cooked for my family is not something I can eat. I know some of you may be looking down on me because I am not making the whole family eat what I eat but that’s not fair.  I find the easiest way to adjust to this change is to experiment with Paleo recipes but that can be tricky too;  I’ll explain that in post to come. Vegetables should have increased, but my love affair with them is u and down.  I know I can’t be alone; please let me know of the challenges you have faced being gluten-free.

 

 

More Adventures in Egg-free Meringue

In Uncategorized on May 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm

In my search for a healthy alternative, I came across this little trick. I can’t believe that chic peas can make marshmallows and meringues. I’m gonna to try this on my vegan and gluten free cupcakes. Have any of you tried this?

Lucy's Friendly Foods

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Have you heard of chickpea meringue? If you haven’t, where have you been? Well, probably anywhere but the vegan online forums where chickpea meringue has taken over the world in 2015! It hasn’t really hit the allergy community yet, but it’s BIG in the vegan one.

The world of egg-free meringue has changed forever thanks to Joel Roessell of Revolution Vegetale who I believe is the true originator. The idea seems crazy, and perhaps a little bit… gross even, but it works a treat. His idea is using the discarded water (brine) from a tin of beans or chickpeas to be whipped up into an egg white substitute. Then Goose Wohlt, who can be found at www.aquafaba.com brought the concept to the masses (by which I mean the online vegan community). If you are tempted to try, and I urge you to, do think of posting your recipes on the Facebook page Vegan Meringues:…

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Classic Poutine

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2015 at 3:25 am

So I have been to Canada a few times in my life and I have never had Poutine but it sounds good. It is like disco fries, another dish that I have never had, on drugs because it has cheese ( Yeah I know I’m from Jersey). Everything is better with cheese which is why I don’t think I will ever become a vegan. God would have to make me lactose intolerant for me to become vegan, so my hat is off to those who volunteer to live that life. I think I will make this dish the next time I go to Redbox and get some chic flix. Viva la Canada!

straight up veg

Okay, so I just have to say that while I’m calling this a “classic poutine”, I should point out that it is just probably as classic a poutine that a vegetarian can make. The traditional recipe, of course, calls for a meat based gravy, but doing that would defeat the purpose of my blog. My recipe still contains a rich, delicious vegetable broth gravy, double cooked crispy fries and quintessential cheese curds.

Feel free to listen to my country’s anthem as you prepare this amazingly delicious dish (aka the best late night food ever).

**Feel free to click on the red links for photo references**

Recipe makes approx. 2 servings (1.5 potatoes per person) 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quart frying oil
  • 3 russet potatoes (peeling optional)
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp finely minced yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2-3 cups vegetable broth (I used my Mushroom-Vegetable Broth)
  • 2 tbsp…

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First-Time Homebuyers Finding Path to Ownership at The M at Englewood South in Bergen County

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm

As a future home owner, I am just looking out for you. Read the article, because this may be a break for you to buy your first home in a nice area with great amenities.

CAHN COMMUNICATIONS

The Club Room The Club Room

ENGLEWOOD, NJ, – First-time homebuyers have been quick to embrace a unique financing package at The M at Englewood South that’s quickly proven to eliminate some of the challenges in the purchasing process.

The collection of 125 one- and two-bedroom condominium homes in this Bergen County City is now offering 97% financing to qualified buyers to considerably ease the initial financial commitment when purchasing one of its elegantly-designed residences.  Combined with incredibly attractive pricing from the low-$300,000s, the special program allows young couples and single-professionals the opportunity to achieve the “American Dream” of ownership at the community with as little as $9,000 due at closing.

Summer sales have heated up at The M at Englewood South as word about this creative offer has spread.  The seasonal spike has enabled the community to surpass the impressive mark of more than 50%.

“It’s no secret one of the biggest…

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Courgette Pasta with a Mexican Bean Sauce

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2015 at 2:35 pm

Being that my husband and I have given up processed carbs for dinner, I have been using both zucchini and squashes to make noodles. It’s affordable, neutral and pretty much fool proof for even the most beginner of cooks. The trick is not to salt them until the very end because it will draw out their natural liquids. Second, don’t overcook them because they will turn to mush. A quick saute or raw is the best way to have them. Use them in stir fries or in pasta dishes. Explore away; I will with this dish.

Courgette Noodles FFIf you haven’t experienced the culinary delights of a spiralizer yet then this is the recipe to bring you on board! It is such a great way to bring a bit of variety to meal times and you can easily head over to my website and get one for yourself today! I love to spiralizer courgettes, not just because of the great texture and shape that it produces but also, of course, for the fantastic nutritional value of these vegetables. Courgettes are incredibly low value at just 17 calories per 100g and contains absolutely no saturated fat or cholesterol. Eating courgettes without peeling them is always the best option as there is a great amount of dietary fiber to be found close to the peel. Additionally, they are abundant in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, not to mention moderate amounts of folates, zinc, manganese, iron and thiamine!

To make…

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Spicy Sofritas Burrito Bowl Recipe – With The Works {vegan/gluten-free}

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm

food to glow

Win friends and influence people by turning your kitchen into your own vegan Chipotle! We love this spicy tempeh sofrito as a colourful burrito bowl but it is equally good wrapped in soft corn tortillas, in Romaine leaves for a carb-free option or in quesadillas. We've even had leftovers in an omelet.If you can get past the awkward title I promise – hand on heart – that you will not just like this dish, you will absolutely love it. But first, a confession: it has tempeh.

Is that a deal-breaker? I hope not. 

Now, I don’t know about you and your nearest and dearest, but we here at food to glow haven’t always been overly keen on the odd bod pulse cake that is tempeh. Old greedy guts me is better at appreciating its rather earthy charms, but Andrew and Rachel have always been reluctant consumers of this most nutritious form of soy. Until now. In fact, in a food to glow tempeh recipe first, the pan of tempeh sofrito was not only wiped clean, but one of my testers – I won’t say who – was hunting around for any spare dishes of it that might be lurking for photographs…

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It Hasn’t Been Easy

In Uncategorized on July 8, 2015 at 4:49 pm

InstagramCapture_cdce5c7a-38fa-4107-8e59-ecacfeb4ea2fI have been struggling for a while about blogging. I didn’t know if I was passionate about writing anymore. For the last five years, I have wracking my brain on how to take Not Just Tofu to the next level.  I am boggled by the amount of recipes and post other food bloggers could post in a week; it made me feel that I was inadequate. I lost my confidence as a blogger.

On my hiatus, I met chefs, tried new restaurants and dabbled with ingredients; it still wasn’t enough to sway me to start writing again. Due to my Lupus, I can never pursue my dream of working in a restaurant or caterer.  First I gave up on my dream of having a brick and mortar establishment.  Then I gave up on my dream of owning a food truck. It got me thinking – Am I going to give up on sharing what I know about food?  Once again, my husband gave me a pep talk, a faithful supporter gave me a supportive call and God started buzzing in my ear saying “don’t give up.”

So today, I have made a decision not to give up on myself.  I could compare myself to bloggers who take delicious and beautiful pictures. I could try to be a social media guru updating you about every bite I eat.  I could get in my kitchen everyday and whip up recipe after recipe.  The truth is that I am none of the above.  Instead I am taking a more natural creative process with the hope that I will have take better pictures, improve with social media and trying to produce more recipes and articles.

Until then, I am happy with the 25 WordPress followers and those who are following me on Twitter, Facebook,Tumblr and Instagram.  Side note: I really gotta work on my social media skills.  I just want thank you for being loyal and patient.

No More Chicken for Me Please

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2015 at 1:59 am

This decision to stop eating chicken started in March of 2016.  The month of March was a hard month. I suffered a flare up that focused on my pelvis and my legs for over 3 weeks. During these weeks, my mind suffered high and lows wondering why God made me suffer. I didn’t bother to leave the house often, I didn’t leave the bed for that fact.  While suffering the flare up, I still had to endure multiple migraines which really made me feel like a lump of clay.  It was at my lowest of lows that I decided that something had to change but what?

I would love to say that because of my new diet and exercise workout regimen that I was able to turn everything around but that was not the case.  Instead I did have to go to the doctor and adjust my medication with hopes of easing the pain.  The following 2 weeks the pain did trickle off and I was able to return to myself. Upon returning to myself a light bulb went off, I needed to change my diet and eventually change my exercise regimen.  The first step I decided to take was to stop eating chicken.  Why chicken? People with Lupus are often diagnosed with digestive issues and I am no exceptions. There have been many times that my son has laid upon my stomach and heard it without me feeling it.  On other days there have been days that I have felt terrible discomfort after eating meals, most of which included chicken.

So what have the results been?  It has been successful in my eyes.  I haven’t lost any weight unfortunately but the bloat I would often find in my stomach has diminished.  I do believe that it is due to the fact that I have removed poultry from my diet over the last two months.  I still eat eggs but not as much as use to. I have removed turkey bacon and sausage which has been the trickiest.  What do I eat? I have increased the amount of fish and red meat (mostly lamb) which is ironic to me due that almost every recipe on this site is vegetarian.  Why the red meat you ask? I suffer from anemia and honesty don’t eat enough beans and green leafy vegetables to keep it at bay.

It’s August, I can honestly say that it has gotten easier not to eat chicken.  Can’t lie, I still eat chicken every now and then but I don’t crave it.  I usually eat it when I can’t find another option.  Do I feel better?  Yes, my digestion is a lot better.  Since conquering the chicken thing, I have moved on to gluten free;  I’ll keep you posted.

Restaurant Review: Bonefish Grill

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2015 at 10:42 pm

bonefish

It was suppose to be date night but I complicated it by making it the night that we had to hunt down and purchase a birthday gift for a friends.  We had an original plan, then switched to plan B but only followed through with plan C.  Plan C left us hungry but when your husband is a pescetarian your options can become quite limited really fast. Frustrated with pain and the fact that we alternated the plan so many times, I put the responsibility on him to find us a place to eat.  He finally decided on the Bonefish Grill in Paramus, NJ.  You may have seen it if you live in my neck of the woods; it’s the restaurant behind the Paramus Park Mall.  I myself have passed this place a million times never knowing what to expect.

What should you expect? I nice intimate atmosphere, ideal for an casual date night.  Each waiter/waitress wears a chef’s jacket which threw me and Alvin off because at first it looks like the chef is coming to the table directly.  Nevertheless it is a nice presentation.  Our server was really nice, I truly apologize that I can’t pay her a true compliment which would be to mention her by name.  We explained that this was our first time and she made it very easy for us to make some decisions.

The menu is mostly seafood but they have chicken and steak too.  I know that you don’t care about that; you want to know about the fish.  So what did we order?  Every table gets a complimentary load of warm ciabatta bread with oil. First we ordered tuna fish tacos.  The tuna was fresh which I truly appreciate, I just which the sauce had more kick to it.  The salad that comes with it is a spring salad with an awesome balsamic vinaigrette; I wish I could have had more of that.  Alvin and I shared an entree of grilled mahi mahi with signature herb pesto sauce. For an additional $2 we order the cutest personal cast iron pan of macaroni and cheese with shallots and truffle oil; we really enjoyed the mac and cheese. I really enjoyed the asparagus with herb sauce…OMG that was so good.  I ate all of it by myself.

Like anywhere we order fish, the portion was small.  Coming from West Indies, Alvin appreciates the whole fish which includes the head and all.  When eateries come out with a portion that can fit in the palm of your hand and charge $15 and more, it is just a great disappointment. It was a good thing that he wasn’t that hungry.  The fish alone was fresh and OK but the sauce made it something to remember.

To finish the night, I had to order dessert.  Good selection but I had to choose the creme brulee. After we ordered all that, we were pleased with the bill because we have been known to blow our budget on a date night.  I would go back and encourage those who like fish to give it a try.  It’s so hard to find affordable, fresh and delicious fish.  We often find places that serve shrimp but we don’t eat shrimp. People often ask us “you eat fish and not shrimp or shellfish?” My answer is always the same, I choose not to eat bottom dwellers because their job is to clean the ocean.  If I am aiming to feed my body good stuff then why would I eat something that cleans for a living.  It’s like drinking the filtered water and eating the filter, thanks but no thanks.  Back on track, if you are a pescetarian, try Bonefish Grill.

TUNA FISH TACOS

TUNA FISH TACOS

Editorial: A Lucas Update

In Uncategorized on March 26, 2015 at 8:39 pm
Lucas age 8

Lucas age 8

It’s been 2 years since Lucas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. For those of you who may have just started on this journey or get overwhelmed while on this journey,just know that it gets better.  Lucas has had his ups and his downs which have been scary but nothing to take him back to the hospital.  This little guy is such a trooper and he wants to be so independent and I think that is what has helped us make along our way.

Our first headache and even now our headache is our insurance.  We fight with them constantly to get his diabetes supplies covered. My first bit of advice is don’t give up!  It cost an arm and a leg for the supplies and they should not be the ones that regulate whether or not your child needs a sensor or an extra visit or which pen he should use.  This is where I went wrong  in the beginning; I let the insurance dictate to me what was in the best interest for Lucas instead of bringing in the physicians and their teams.  So much as been accomplished since combining forces with the doctors and nurses than when I fought on my own.

Something else I want to share with you; don’t be ashamed when you’re not perfect! If you are not a nurse or a dietitian, the diabetic lifestyle is overwhelming. Learning to count carbohydrates in everything bit of food is one challenge. Then there is the challenge of monitoring everything they eat, letting not one snack go unaccounted for is nerve wrecking.  Sometimes you forget what you eat much less what they have for breakfast. There are gonna be days with highs and their are gonna be days with lows. I am going to be honest, in the morning rush I would forget to give Lucas insulin before school.  I thank God that I built a good communication system with the school nurse to the point where she can pick up the phone and ask me questions.  God help me when he sick; I can’t stand keytones!  The monitoring, the math, the worrying is enough to make you sick but because of the love you will do whatever it takes. It’s exhausting but I just think of parents who fight harder fights to keep their kid healthy.  Be thankful!

Finally we are on an insulin pump.  Learning how to live with this device is tricky.  We went through alarms in the middle of the night.  There were times when he has pulled out the tubing. The first type of tubing we were using kept giving us keytones, so much so that we almost gave up on the pump.  I couldn’t give up on it because when it worked it worked well. I’m glad that we didn’t give up because now he is better monitored, the math is done by the device so I can’t give him too much insulin and he has independence.  God be praised because he has a chance at a normal life where he doesn’t have to tote around a bunch of stuff.

I didn’t know what to expect from our life once he was diagnosed.  We have a lot and I do mean a lot of challenges but they have made us both stronger.  The family works together to make sure that he is healthy and provided for.  Whether he is at school, scouts or church he is well looked out for.  I have to thank the village that is helping me out because I wouldn’t want to do it on my own.  Lastly, I thank God for Lucas’ most gentle, comedic, patient and independent character that has turned a mountain into a molehill.

Just a few pics from his “normal life”

Last Christmas with Elias

Lunching in the park

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Pouting on family vacation

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