Anitra's life

This black bean soup is awesome

04/18/2015 04:23 AM

Even the picky 4-year-old liked it (well, he said he liked it. Which counts for a lot, even if he only ate a little.)

Super frugal, it uses dried black beans, which necessitates a long cooking time - but it's in the crockpot. So as long as I can get it started before noon, we're golden.

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2014/07/slow-cooker-black-bean-soup/

We served it with sour cream, cheese, green onions, and tortilla chips.

Slow cooker Orange Chicken

03/13/2015 11:19 AM

Heavily adapted from http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/09/slow-cooker-orange-chicken-recipe.html

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, cut in 2-inch chunks (I used two very large boneless breasts, may have been closer to 2 pounds)
1/2 cup flour (only 1/3 cup for tracking purposes; the rest is thrown away.)
1/2 an onion, sliced thinly
olive oil, for browning the chicken (1 1/2 tablespoons-ish)
1 scant teaspoon salt
8 oz orange juice (or you could use 6oz OJ concentrate)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
orange zest (optional)
ground ginger (optional)

Use a 4 quart slow cooker for best results.

If using fresh OJ, pour into a pot with the sugar. On medium-high heat, reduce it until syrupy.

Dredge the chicken pieces with the flour, and shake off the excess. Go ahead and throw away any remaining flour, we won't need it. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove and brown the chicken on all sides. There is no need to fully cook it, just sear it enough for the flour to stick and get a nice coating.


Put the chicken pieces and onion into the slow cooker.
Combine the orange juice concentrate, sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, and ketchup. Add orange zest and a hefty sprinkle of ginger, if desired. (Remember to taste test!) Pour sauce mixture evenly over the chicken, and toss gingerly to coat.


Cover and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3 to 4. Serve with rice and a vegetable.

Day 6 dairy free - getting easier. Still no definitive answer for Elliot.

12/19/2014 08:32 PM

Still not easy, by any means. And we haven't seen a difference in Elliot's symptoms yet (barky cough that he's had since late October). Took him to a ENT specialist in Boston today, where they stuck a scope down his throat and guessed "reflux" (whether caused by dairy or not, no way to tell yet). Prescribed Prilosec (although they apparently completely forgot to call it into CVS for me, grr). Doctor told me to keep eating dairy-free, and we're coming back in about 4 weeks. At that point, if the anti-acid meds help, great! If not, we do a bottle with barium so they can look inside poor Elliot.

As far as the dairy-free eating is going... well, it's going. Not really looking forward to a Christmas party tomorrow, although it hopefully means we can get rid of a bunch of cookies I foolishly baked with our children... and can't eat. Based on advice, I am also planning a trip to Trader Joe's tomorrow, since they seem to be the only place locally I will be able to get some CHOCOLATE without milk in it. Basically, for any party for the next month or more, I will be bringing something to share and something else for me to eat. Bah.

I did make some rice krispy treats (with PB and honey) that helped a lot yesterday & today - just having something to eat that feels like a treat lessens the impact of all the cookies and chocolate taunting me.

I also need to broaden my dairy-less recipe repertoire. I'm sick of PBJ as my only fall back for lunch time, and I'd like to get back to doing some one-pot meals for dinner.

Eating dairy free is HARD

12/19/2014 08:23 PM

Day 3 of eliminating dairy from my diet (on a trial basis to see if it helps Elliot). Hungry ALL. THE. TIME.

Technically we're waiting on blood test results, but I figured I would get a jump on the possibility that it's a casein allergy/sensitivity. Didn't realize (a) just how hard it would be and (b) it can take up to 3 WEEKS for all the offending proteins to leave mom's system.

To make matters worse, it's the Christmas season. There are goodies and parties, and hardly anything I'm allowed to eat. Bringing fruit and hummus (for dipping veggies) to our Tuesday morning gathering... I think there will be a salad too. That's it for me - no cookies, no quiche, nothing with chocolate or cheese or butter.

Prayer for contentment

10/23/2014 07:13 PM

Lord, I am willing to -
Receive what you give,
Lack what you withhold,
Relinquish what you take.

Great ideas from my daughter

08/01/2014 12:45 PM

I call Claire over to tell her something. Then I tell her I forgot what I wanted to say.

Claire tells me, "when I forget what I was going to say, I say 'I love you' instead."

What a good idea, Claire!