Comeback Kid…Again! Week #3

There is a good possibility that I will be back to running on the streets in as little as three (3) weeks.  Yep.  That is how confident my physical therapist is with my progression.  That being said, he really put me through the wringer this past week.

My appointments were later in the week…Wednesday and Friday.  Due to his schedule this time.  Next time…it’s all me.  I have a Sting concert to attend and all…

But I digress.

That being said, it gave me the whole first part of the week to work on the marches and all the lunges he assigned me to work on at home.  And here I thought I was totally done with homework. Let me tell you…my quads were burning.  I tend to do my PT stuff twice a day.  So, that was a whole heap of lunges.

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This is, legit, one of the lunge moves I am to do to help strengthen the hip and get that hip flexor firing properly.  He also added a new resistance band move for the left hip as well…in addition to the other stuff I was doing.  OH…and the lunge matrix.  Five lunges with each leg in basically every direction possible.  It is beyond hellish.

Told you…lunge hell.  If I don’t have the best looking ass at the end of this I will be highly disappointed.

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On Friday…it got a little more real.  After going through the stretches, exercises, and adding some fun new plyometric lunges and leaps with the BOSU to help with not only the push-off but also landing.  It’s a great exercise, and I luckily own a BOSU ball, so I can do this one at home.  Outside.  I’m in a 2nd floor apartment after all.  HA!

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So, then my PT had a little heart-to-heart with me.  For real.  He said I was coming along great…and my pain was minimal these days.  So…he wanted to know how I would feel if he told me to go outside and run 3 miles.  Just go.  Right then.  And run.

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So, he asked me why I felt that way…and I told him that I was nervous about it hurting again, or doing further damage.  And that I don’t want to take any more steps back.  He said that I was ready to get on the Alter-G treadmill…and he wanted me to pick a pace I felt comfortable with and see if I could run for about 25 minutes on it.

He had to kick someone off of it, but he got me all zipped in and I got started…

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So…this wasn’t a fix.  Not at all.  In fact…I still had some twinging in my left hip flexor while doing this…and I was running with a slight limp.  He pointed that out immediately.  So, he told me to attempt to even it out as I was going, and I could keep going for the 10-25 minutes as long as the twinge didn’t escalate.  It didn’t.  So I managed 2.83 miles at a 8:34 pace for 25 minutes.  It wasn’t perfect…but look at that smile!  I WAS FINALLY RUNNING!  It had been a full month since that had even happened.

This week, I think I’ll be doing a lot of work on the Alter-G.  He had me at 80% of my body weight on Friday…and I think he’ll move me to 90% this week or next…and then…I’m on the road…IF all things go well.

That being said, I showed up for the training run for the Norton Sports Health Training Program for the Kentucky Derby Marathon/miniMarathon…and I was able to do some of the jumping jacks and other dynamic warm-ups that I had to phone-in before.  So, I do think the process is working.  It’s just slow.  But I’ll take any improvement at this rate.  I took a short walk, went and got my taxes done, and then met back up with my fellow Ambassadors at Big Four Burgers + Fries for a social.  It was the best way to spend my Saturday for sure.


Looking forward to moving forward some more this week.  But now…I’m off to officially cook my first Gordon Ramsay meal…Mushrooms on Toast for dinner!!  Yes…his class…his recipe…me cooking it.  Wish me luck.  I’ll need it…it involves bacon.  Not for me.  For my roommate.  Mine is minus the bacon.  Chef Ramsay has his hands full with this gluten-free vegetarian!!

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Recipe: Anti-Inflammatory Stir Fry Bowl

So…two weeks ago I was in California.  I was taking in the Los Angeles area…I was doing the whole Disney thing…I was running a 10K and Half Marathon injured…I was fighting aches and pains the rest of the time.

On our last full day in California, my roomie and I got into our rental car after saying good-bye to our friend Tanya, and took a long drive down to San Diego.  What was in San Diego?  Apollo 9.  Duh!

And a taco stand that my roommate fell in love with in 2015, when we stayed in San Diego for one night en route to Hawaii for a marathon I was unable to run (due to a stress fracture to my leg three (3) days before).  She was eager to return…maybe try something else…maybe redo the tacos that she fell so in love with.  But…there was nothing safe for me there…so she scouted out a Thai food place just around the corner.  They had an amazing gluten-free menu (almost everything)…but with my body hating me after I put it pushed it through races being held together with KT Tape and ACE Bandages, the Anti-Inflammatory Stir Fry Bowl really caught my eye.

It was simple…yet delicious.  Broccoli & shitake mushrooms stir-fried in a warming seasoning paste made with peppercorns and turmeric.  It was served over Thai red rice.  And it was amazing.  It was a HUGE order…but I ate it all.  And I felt good about it.  And I kept talking about that meal…so I knew there was something to it.

And so…when I got back home, I set out to recreate it.  It wasn’t perfect, but it sure was delicious.  And as I had some riced cauliflower on hand…instead of cooking up some brown rice…I gave it a go.

Recipe: Anti-Inflammatory Stir Fry Bowl

15995272_10100193941937701_3064135310889359941_oServes 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets (or one bag of cauliflower rice)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces broccoli florets
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

 

Directions:

**Chop head of cauliflower into florets and place in food processor. Pulse until it starts to resemble rice; set aside.

**NOTE: If you want a less-mess, no maintenance way of doing this, go to Trader Joes, Kroger, Target, or pretty much ANY grocery store these days and they have bags of already riced cauliflower in their produce section and even in the freezer section.  I do this…because food processors are a pain to clean!  So, skip the first step if you cheat and get the already riced cauliflower.

Line a large skillet with 1/4 cup water and add cauliflower rice.  Cook until softened.

Line a skillet with 1/4 cup water and add ginger paste and garlic.  Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add in mushrooms and broccoli.  Cook until the broccoli has turned bright green and the mushrooms have softened.

Add turmeric and black pepper.  Stir until everything is well coated.

Place half of the cooked cauliflower rice in each bowl.  Top with the broccoli and mushrooms.

ENJOY!

~*~*~

One great thing about this dish, all the seasoning means no salt needs to be added.  The dish is amazingly filling and so good.  The turmeric and black pepper are the perfect anti-inflammatory blend.  I intend to make this dish more often.  It’s simple…yet…so flavorful!  Don’t miss this one!

Restaurant Review: Kalapawai Café, Kailua, Hawaii

Kalapawai Cafe, Kailua, Hawaii

Kalapawai Cafe, Kailua, Hawaii

Restaurant: Kalapawai Café, Kailua, Hawaii

Normally humidity and heat don’t get to me.  I thrive in warmer temperatures, to be completely honest.  But the sun, heat, and humidity that were brought to Hawaii by the hurricanes and tropical storms is a new level of humid.  And it’s a level that, being so close to the equator, I am not used to yet.

I was melting.  Literally.  Melting at Pearl Harbor yesterday afternoon.  But, myself and my traveling compatriots all survived and had quite the experience at Pearl Harbor.  Totally…unforgettable.  It was the one place I was making a requirement…and the other two also felt the same way.  Despite the intense sun, the humidity, and the heat…it was all worth it.

All that being said, afterwards we headed toward Kailua, which was home to the restaurant we would be having dinner in that evening.  The little restaurant is Kalapawai Café, this quaint little café and market.  We were early, as they don’t start serving dinner until 5 p.m.  So, while waiting, we scoped out a bit of Kailua.  We went to Walgreens so Jenn could pick up more Ibuprofen (sunburns suck!).  We dropped by this little bookstore called Book Ends.  It was in disarray, but it killed a bit of time.  And as we were heading out, it was time for dinner.  Talk about timing, eh?

We were greeted at the door as we entered and were able to ogle the dessert case, where I spotted macarons immediately.  Jenn noted the Flourless Chocolate Cake as well.  Mmmm…dessert.  But, our hostess guided us to a nice cool spot (we must have looked hot!) right under the air conditioning and got us situated with menus.  Our waitress soon followed, bringing us glasses of water and asking us if we wanted anything besides water.  We were all trying to rehydrate after Pearl Harbor, so we just stuck with the H2O.  She went over the specials and over what the Auction Price Fish of the Day, Auction Price Fresh Fish for the risotto was, and what the Auction Price Fresh Fish for the Greek Salad was.  She gave us a moment to peruse the menu.

Upon her return a few minutes later, we were pretty much set.  We mentioned that I was a Celiac vegetarian and she said…”Okay…so no wheat no meat…” She asked if I did dairy…I said I can…but I don’t always handle it well.  So she recommended the meal I had been eyeing in the first place due to the fact that it was labeled gluten-free AND contained no meat.  She said she’d just have the chef leave off the cheese.  Perfect.  Jenn and Cathy put in their orders too…and we cooled off, chilled, and got to watch the kitchen work.  I love open kitchens.  Hearing the expediter call off the orders was awesome.  Seeing the small line of chefs preparing at their different stations…yep…I love this stuff.

And soon…it was our order being made and being delivered.

Oddly enough, I had pegged what Jenn was going to order.  I know my friends!  Jenn ordered the Crab & Artichoke Dip ($12.00), which contained huge chunks (I mean HUGE) of blue crab, chopped artichoke (which didn’t overwhelm), fresh mozzerella, provolone, parmesan, red bell pepper, sweet onion, and served with toasted crostini.  Her meal looked cheesy good.   And it was delicious according to her.  Especially since they used great care to put chunks of crab meat into the dish itself…instead of skimping on the prize protein.  That was a huge plus.  The plate got polished.  She said she’d offer me some, but basically everything about the dish offended me.  LOL!

Kalapwai Cafe's House-made Okinawan Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Ravioli w/ asparagus, roasted grape tomato & lemon-thyme brown butter sauce

Kalapwai Café’s House-made Okinawan Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Ravioli w/ asparagus, roasted grape tomato & lemon-thyme brown butter sauce

Cathy had gone back and forth on what she wanted, opting between the ravioli and the shepherd’s pie.  In the end, she ordered the House-made Okinawan Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Ravioli ($15.00), served with asparagus, roasted grape tomato, and a lemon-thyme brown butter sauce.  She said the pasta was okay (duh!), but the star of the plate was that sweet potato and goat cheese.  The star of any ravoili should be the filling.  That’s the entire point.  The pasta…it should definitely be homemade and good…but it it simply a way to hold the delicious filling inside.  She devoured her meal.  In fact, for the first time, she was the first one done eating.

Kalapawai Café's House-made gluten free potato gnocchi w/ grilled asparagus, roasted mushroom & tomato, ver’jus & sauce romesco

Kalapawai Café’s House-made gluten free potato gnocchi w/ grilled asparagus, roasted mushroom & tomato, ver’jus & sauce romesco

As for me, I ordered the House-made Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi ($16.00), served with grilled asparagus, roasted mushroom and tomato, ver’jus and a sauce romesco.  It normally would come with Manchego cheese, but they left it off my dish since dairy and I are broken up.  These “gnocchi” were toasted potato puffs.  Sort of like…a naked tater tot.  And to be honest…that’s exactly what they tasted like.  This dish was like eating breakfast for dinner.  The gnocchi had this great toasted outside, think…perfect hashbrowns, and then were soft like the inside of a tater tot, on the inside.  The vegetables were grilled and cooked to perfection, pairing nicely with the breakfast-like gnocchi on my plate.  And the sauces gave a nice hit and addition of flavor to be sure.  I loved it…because breakfast is one of my favorite things in life.  It wasn’t what I was expecting.  Definitely less pasta more potato.  And I was okay with that.  It just wasn’t what my palate had been expecting.  It was a nice surprise.

Afterwards we were asked if we’d like to see a dessert menu.  As we never turn down looking at least, we perused and finally opted on splitting the macaron plate (it came with 3) ($5.00).  Normally this was an assortment of vanilla, lemon, and lime ginger, but they were out of vanilla, and I wasn’t too sure on the lime ginger…so we went with three of the lemon macarons.  They were retrieved from the case and…oh…oh yes…they were worth it.  Little pillows of lemony flavor.  Like…big lemon flavor too.  None of this fake stuff or lack of flavor.  It was like a lemon bar and lemon chifon cake.  It was just…yummy.  And we were happy that we went that way with the dessert in the end.

I was actually quite impressed with the service and the food that came  out of Kalapawai Café.  I would return there to eat in a heartbeat.  I loved the dish I was served, even if it wasn’t what I expected.  And having macarons on the dessert menu always wins, because they are a light option that still feels like a treat.

What a way to end the first night in O’ahu.

Kalapawai Café's Lemon Macarons

Kalapawai Café’s Lemon Macarons

Restaurant Review: Brick Oven Pizza, Kapaa, Hawaii

Brick Oven Pizza, Kapaa, Hawaii

Brick Oven Pizza, Kapaa, Hawaii

Restaurant: Brick Oven Pizza, Kapaa, Hawaii

It was a long day of driving, shopping, and some exploring.  There was even beach time and some wading into the water.  It was a good day, filled with a few minor bumps in the road.  But…there comes a time when you suddenly realize that the crepe you ate for breakfast has completely worn off and that protein bar you consumed as a snack…even though you weren’t really hungry but you knew dinner was still a ways off…wears off.

That was yesterday.

And with me not being able to run the Kauai Marathon…dinner plans were sort of up in the air.  Original plan was to get gluten-free pizza from this local chain (they have 4 locations on the island) called Brick Oven Pizza.  From the reviews on Find Me Gluten Free, they did a good job with avoiding cross-contamination as much as possible.  BUT…pizza was a pre-race thing and I was definitely not prepping for a race now.  Before leaving for Hawaii, I had noted this to Cathy and she did a bit of poking around, finding a little spot called Caffe Coco, also in Kapaa, that serves up dishes made from island-grown produce, fresh fish, and organic chickens, wanting to support local farmers as much as possible.  They specialize in vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.

We were sort of…not really sure what we wanted for dinner, but after looking and re-looking at menus, we decided to just go for it and get a pizza.  Between the three of us, we could eat a small (8 slices) gluten-free pizza and not overdo it and kill ourselves trying to polish it off.  So…Brick Oven Pizza won out.

We piled into the rental car and headed that way.  It’s a very short drive from our resort, and we pulled into the parking lot and made our way inside.  We were seated by the hostess near the back of the restaurant and given the menu to look over.  We already knew that we were doing a gluten-free pizza.  The thing is…I am not able to handle much dairy and Jenn and Cathy are cheese-lovers.  I am a vegetarian and Jenn is not a not a huge fan of vegetables.  So…the thought was to do a half-and-half pizza and Cathy (who can eat either way) can share on each end.  BRILLIANT!

Our waitress wasn’t sure that one gluten-free pizza would be enough for the three of us, but we decided we’d grab dessert if we were still hungry (we heard about a place on the radio that had vegan ice cream)…so we convinced her that we wouldn’t starve with it just being one pizza between the three of us.  So, we put in our special order, with one half of the pizza having mushrooms and pineapple with no cheese, and the other half having cheese and the house-made Italian sausage.  This is how we do it!

It was quite a wait for the pizza to be made, which is fine.  They did explain that the gluten-free pizzas take a little bit longer, and with a dairy-free vegetarian getting half of a pizza that has dairy and meat on it, they were just trying to be a little more diligent with the cooking and the slicing process.  So, I’ll take that as a good sign.  But when the pizza did arrive, we paused long enough to take pictures and then…it was time to devour.

And it did meet with a messy, messy death.

The crust itself was your typical cracker crust, which is not my favorite, but when you are gluten-free and want pizza…you get what you get.  And, while it’s a thin and crispy crust, it means that it isn’t quite as filling and you don’t feel as guilty devouring it.  That being said, three of us were consuming 8 little pieces of pizza.  So, it was actually the perfect light pizza meal as far as we were concerned.

My carnivorous cheese-loving traveling partners really raved about the sausage on their half of the pizza, saying how full of flavor it was.  They loved the cheese, and even topped off their slices with the Parmesan cheese from the shaker.  The odd piece out was split between them.

My un-cheesy, pineapple and mushroom topped side was delicious.  The red sauce wasn’t too heavy, but it had good tomato flavor to it.  I loved the way the mushrooms were cooked in, giving them that meaty texture.  And the pineapple was juicy and amazing.  I really enjoyed this pizza…healthy as a pizza could be with it still being…pizza.  It was easy for me to digest, which was the important part.  Delicious!  I was satisfied when I split the odd-ball extra piece with Cathy and we considered our dinner…done.

The waitress tried to entice us with more, but we said we were done.  She happily delivered our check…our Gluten Free Half Mushroom/Pineapple Half Cheese/Italian Sausage Pizza ($18.95) was a hit, for sure.  And, for a gluten-free pizza…affordable.  Brick Oven Pizza does charge an extra $3.50 for a gluten-free pizza…so there was that.  In the end, what we had delivered what all of us wanted in the pizza.  And thank goodness they could do half and half so that we all got something that we wanted/needed with the actual pizza.

For a local chain offering a gluten-free crust, I was happy with the pizza I received.  It was just enough to allow us to go to that ice cream spot we heard about and indulge a little in some local ice cream.  And that…was a nice bonus.  If you are in the market for a safe gluten-free pizza…try out Brick Oven in Kapaa.  I’ll go back next year before the marathon for sure!

Brick Oven Pizza Gluten Free Half Mushroom/Pineapple (no cheese) and Half Cheese and Italian Sausage Pizza

Brick Oven Pizza Gluten Free Half Mushroom/Pineapple (no cheese) and Half Cheese and Italian Sausage Pizza

Recipe: Tomato-Miso Soup

If there is one thing that I love almost as much as breakfast…it’s soup.  I am a soup junkie.  I will eat soup at any time of the year…even in the summer.  I think it can be the most perfect meal.  And, when made right, it can be quite good for you too.

I bought some white miso paste a few weeks ago to use in an eggplant recipe and had quite a bit still left over in the fridge.  I was interested in what I might be able to make with it…and that’s when Food & Wine Magazine sent through one of their recipe e-mails, and this one was timely, indeed.

This Tomato-Miso Soup both light and hearty…and definitely healthy.  It became one of my favorite lunches I have brought to work thus far.  And it’s made from real ingredients…which makes it even better.  The flavor is earthy and sweet…bringing this fantastic balance.  And the star…the shiitake mushrooms.

Recipe: Tomato-Miso Soup

Tomato-Miso Soup

Tomato-Miso Soup

Servings: 6
Time: 10 minutes; Cook 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup light miso paste (shiro)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I used reduced sodium tamari)
  • 3/4 pound soft tofu, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 3 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 6 small to medium radishes, thinly sliced

 

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Cover and cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until the mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Pour in the water, stir well and bring to a boil.

Add the tomatoes, cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Whisk in the miso and soy sauce and return to a simmer.

Add the tofu and simmer for 2 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with the scallions and radishes and serve.

~*~*~

I loved everything there was about this soup.  There were so many textures, and this bold flavor, thanks to the miso.  The radishes and scallions added before eating brought a bit of crunch, while the mushrooms gave this soup a meatiness to it, without any actual meat.  I can’t wait to make this one again.  If you have a great love of soup and rich flavors without simmering it all day…this is the soup for you.

Recipe: Gluten Free Garlic Mushrooms on Toast

I was watching a British cooking show a few years ago and absolutely began to salivate over the dish that was being prepared.  A simple European breakfast of Mushrooms on Toast.  With my food allergies and dietary restrictions, I, naturally had to adjust the original recipe, but it quickly became a favorite here in my apartment.  I started making this about five years ago, and then forgot all about it…until I got fresh crimini mushrooms in my CSA bin.

And so…I decided to revive a favorite.

Recipe: Gluten Free Garlic Mushrooms on Toast

Gluten Free Garlic Mushrooms on Toast

Gluten Free Garlic Mushrooms on Toast

Servings: 2
Time: 15 minutes prep; Cook 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter (I used Earth Balance)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, stems trimmed, thickly sliced
  • 1 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 slices gluten free bread, toasted (I used Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread)

Directions:

Heat butter and oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat until sizzling. Add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic. Cook for 1 minute or until aromatic.

Add rice milk and water. Stir until heated through. Sprinkle with thyme. Serve on hot buttered gluten-free toast.

~*~*~

After digging into this amazing dish (if you do gluten-free, I highly recommend the gluten-free Food For Life Sprouted For Life breads for this recipe), I remembered why I loved it so much all those years ago.  The mushrooms were tender and enriched with the garlic and freshy thyme.  I topped mine off with a poached egg, which, when paired with the sauced mushrooms was the perfect addition to the meal, although on its own, this would still be delicious.

If you are a fan of mushrooms, I highly recommend this recipe!

Product Review: Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread

Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread

Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread

Product: Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread – $5.99+

A little while ago, I was introduced to a couple of new breads on the market.  While the brand name has been producing gluten-free breads for awhile now, it wasn’t a brand that I actively sought out.  Yes, I saw it all the time in the freezer section of Whole Foods and other natural food stores, but I had grown accustomed to snagging Rudi’s or Udi’s or (now) the Aldi liveGfree brand or Canyon Bakehouse.  Food For Life was there…I just always overlooked it.

And why?

Who knows?  As an active (even now, with an injury) athlete, it’s important to properly fuel my body and eat wholesome foods.  Most products on the market for the gluten-free diet happen to be junk food.  It drives me nuts.  I hit that gluten-free section of a store and I can find a vast array of cookies, crackers, chips, pretzels, and the like.  It is one of the biggest pet peeves of the grocery store.  Yes, a lot of people with Celiac and gluten intolerance do miss out on some of the finer treats like Oreos and the like, but the shelves are literally overrun with products that aren’t going to feed your body right and healthy.

But Food For Life set out to change that.  Through a lot of research and development, Food For Life released the first ever gluten free breads made from sprouted grains, such as quinoa, millet and chia.  A majority of gluten-free breads, while satisfying the “gluten free” bread requirement, don’t address the overall health needs of consumers.  Without the gluten to give bread the soft, elasticity of regular breads, most manufacturers choose alternative ingredients that mimic the feel of gluten, using egg, milk, and refined starches in order to achieve a softer and chewier texture.  But these breads are created from ingredients that you wouldn’t expect to find in natural breads, many of which are devoid of nutrients.

Food For Life stepped up and decided to start a line with four varieties of completely gluten-free breads that were specifically created with the health of consumers in mind.  Not only are they gluten free, but they are also vegan and made from nutrition packed ingredients that have been sprouted to maximize nutrition and digestibility.

I was fortunate enough to be sent one loaf of each of the Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Breads from Food For Life.  These loaves come in Original 3 Seed, Almond, Cinnamon Raisin, and Flax.

The hardest part, for me, was choosing where to begin.  It had been a long and tiring week and I was looking for a nutritious, but filling dinner.  And, as breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day, I decided to hit up one of my favorite recipes and have breakfast for dinner.  Hence, it was time to bust out a very British, and all-time favorite in my book, breakfast recipe – Mushrooms On Toast.

And I had the perfect vehicle for the toast portion in my kitchen freezer. I consulted with my roommate and we decided to start with the Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread.

I thawed out four slices of the bread and then prepped them to toast in the oven while I prepared the rest of the meal.  This involved sauteing up mushrooms, red onion, garlic, seasoning, and some of my homegrown fresh thyme.  I made it creamier with rice milk.  And then poached some eggs to top off the entire dish.

Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread turned out to be the perfect vehicle for Mushrooms On Toast.  The bread is firmer, and stands up a bit more to toppings and the like.  I was a bit worried when I thawed it out, as it seemed really dense and heavy, but that was ideal.  That was, actually, a good thing in this case.  The Flax variety of the Sprouted For Life line of gluten-free breads is amazing.  It is dense and has this rich nutty flavor to it.  The texture, if made into a sandwich might be a bit dry and heafty, but in a dish like this, where a sturdy bread is needed, it is ideal.  In fact, this bread was almost like a sourdough, and that was where the magic was with this bread.

I loved the crunchy, sturdy nature of the bread when topped off with the creamy garlic and mushroom sauce.  It held up to the runny middle of the poached egg and even a smattering of hot sauce.  It was crispy, and delightful with each spoonful.  Seriously, any other bread would have gotten damp and soggy, but this…this held up and stayed a piece of toast throughout the entire eating process.

Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread is rich in essential fatty acids and was developed specifically to help you perform at your best.  With a great balance in the nutritional aspect, this bread is quite appealing.  Made with sprouted chia, sprouted quinoa, and sprouted millet, this bread is a trio of health.  And the flax is an added bonus for sure.

Let’s talk about ingredients.  Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread is made from organic sprouted quinoa (red and/or white), filtered water, organic arrowroot, organic potato starch, organic sprouted millet, organic tapioca, organic sprouted flax, organic applesauce, fresh yeast, organic safflower oil, organic cactus, organic sprouted chia seeds, organic agave, organic vanilla, sea salt, vegetable gum (xanthan and cellulose), and organic psyllium.  It is gluten-free, vegan, high in fiber, cholesterol free, and free of added sugars.

So, let’s talk nutrition.  Since starting my nutrition course (oh…did I not mention that yet?), I have learned that there is more to counting calories.  Sure, it is important, but it shouldn’t be the focus.  It’s all about the nutritional aspects of the food.  Avocados are high in fat and calories…but SO much better for you than that chocolate bar with the same amount of fat and calories.  See what I mean?  So, a serving of Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread is one slice of bread.  This slice of bread will give you 110 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.  This bread is free of saturated fat and trans fat (YAY!).  The Flax Bread also will provide 115 mg sodium per slice, 0 mg cholesterol, 21 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.  I was freaked out at first with the high calories per slice, but, again, not all calories are created equal and there is nothing fake going into this bread.  It’s all healthy, all good, all nutritious.  Making this a fantastic choice.

I was so excited to receive the loaves of the Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Breads.  And if they are all as amazing and delicious as the Flax variety, then I am in for a treat for sure.  My hat is off to the nutritional value, the top-notch ingredients, and the amazing taste of the new Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread from Food For Life.  My only complaint, as with most gluten-free breads out there, is the small size of the loaf.  Aside from that…amazed.  Happy to have been given the opportunity to really try it out.  I am beyond impressed.

Garlic Mushrooms on Toast made with Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Bread

Garlic Mushrooms on Toast made with Food For Life Sprouted For Life Gluten Free Flax Brea