30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 17- Lexie’s Kitchen

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 17- Lexie's Kitchen Welcome to day 17 of 30 Days to a Food Revolution.  Today’s guest blogger is Alexa from Lexie’s Kitchen. Alexa lives with her husband and two boys in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She credits her youngest son for being the catalyst for change in the way their family eats. Her story is one of attempting to restore her child’s intestinal and neurological health through nutrition. She hopes to inspire and support parents of children on the autistic spectrum to do the same. You can count on all her recipes being FREE of gluten, dairy, egg, corn, refined sugars and artificial ingredients.

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 17- Lexie's Kitchen

Alexa’s Recipe: Chicken Long Rice

Alexa’s Tip: Set aside one hour for a Pantry Purge Event

Hanging out at health food stores, co-ops and with my parents’ alfalfa sprout, hippie friends are among my most fond childhood memories. My parents understood the value of fresh, wholesome food and I am grateful for the example they set. Into adulthood I continued to eat well—at least I thought I did. One day, about 20 years after leaving home, I came to the sad realization that A LOT of sugar-laden, preservative-loaded processed food had crept into my pantry. Its convenience and glitz had made it hard to pass up. Looking back, I was shopping in innocent ignorance. Food had changed since the 60’s and 70’s and that change had come in the form of processing.

In the Fall of 2008 my husband and I had a wake up call. Our one-year old son began exhibiting digestive and neurological complications, which led to developmental delays. As any mother would do, I immersed myself in research and found that so many roads led back to diet—that the body is powerful and by re-establishing the right conditions, can heal itself. With the guidance of an allergist and two naturopathic physicians, we developed a plan that eliminated processed foods and those to which he was intolerant. Eight months after removing gluten, dairy, egg, corn, soy, refined sugar and artificial ingredients, his digestive health has returned, his speech and balance are coming and his energy has greatly improved.

My wish for everyone; don’t let a health crisis such as diabetes, a heart attack or cancer be what it takes to start eating right. Scare yourself into it (watch Food Inc. or the Earth Fare Supermarket videos). Read yourself into it (Nourishing Traditions is a great first read). Or just spend some time studying the food labels in your pantry. And here begins my tip.

Alexa’s Tip: Set aside one hour for a Pantry Purge Event

This week, set aside an hour, just one hour, and begin the journey to healthier eating! In our home it all started with a Pantry Purge Event. It’s fun, easy and enlightening. Print off The Boot List (a handy glossary of food ingredients) to refer to, grab a couple of boxes and you’re ready to begin. Here are the big health-busters we tackled in our home:

1. Give Canned Foods (and plastic food storage containers) the Can: Experts believe that epoxy resin-lined cans are our main source of bisphenol_A (BPA) exposure. BPA has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease and more. Buy fresh, frozen, dried or glass jarred foods as much as possible.

2. Bye Bye Bad Fats: Avoid hydrogenated and polyunsaturated oils! Look into the benefits of using coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and yes, real butter.

3. Away With the Subtle Cereal Killer: In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon writes; “extruded whole grain preparations [flakes and shaped cereals] can have even more adverse affects on the blood sugar than refined sugar and white flour!” Tossing the cereals is probably a good idea. Start your day with yogurt, eggs, an avocado, a smoothie, nuts, oatmeal, or whole-grain pancakes or muffins.

4. Anything Artificial is Outta Here: Most artificial ingredients are derived from petroleum, tar and corn processing and could exacerbate ADD, ADHD and autism symptoms. Be a stickler in this area, get rid of anything artificial.

5. Refined Sugars Take a Hike: Remove white sugar, corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Consider using natural, minimally processed sugars such as zero-calorie stevia, raw honey, coconut sugar and date sugar. And while you’re looking at the baking shelf, get rid of the white flour and toss out any baking powder that lists sodium aluminum sulfate as an ingredient.

6. Sugary Drinks Go Down the Drain: Kick the soda habit (you gotta do it!). Toss the juice boxes. And if you are going to drink fruit juice, water it way down. Drink Water.

7. Ban the “Can’t Haves”: In our home, the big “can’t have” is gluten. Remove the foods to which you are allergic or intolerant.

8. Give GMO’s the No Go: It is suspected that modified grains contain foreign proteins that are likely to be highly irritating to the digestive tract. What’s the big deal with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)? Watch The Future of Food or read Earth Fare Supermarket’s summary of GMO’s for more insight.

Hooray! You are on your way. Now, while you are at it, how about moving on to the fridge?

The journey to better health and eating is exactly that, a journey. Embrace it, seek out new flavors, buy organic as much as possible, and develop an appreciation for cooking and the role it can play in the health of your family.

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 17- Lexie's Kitchen

Alexa’s Recipe: Chicken Long Rice

If you’ve been to a Hawaiian luau, chances are you’ve had Chicken Long Rice. Hawaii is a delightful melting pot of the cultures and flavors of the Pacific Rim and beyond. As a child growing up on the Hamakua Sugar Plantation, I’d always anticipate my dad bringing home a plate of leftovers from Friday pau hana (after work) parties. And almost always the plate included some Chicken Long Rice.

Though the name suggests it, there is no “rice” in this age-old Chinese dish, but rather Mung bean thread noodles. It’s a comforting meal, quick to assemble and a great choice for anyone avoiding gluten or grains. Mung bean thread noodles, bamboo shoots and dried Shiitake mushrooms can be found at most larger grocery chains and at Asian markets.

30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 17- Lexie's Kitchen

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

COOK TIME: 15 minutes

SERVES: 4

Soak 1/4 ounce dried SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS in 1 cup hot water for 30 minutes.

Soak 5 ounces MUNG BEAN THREAD NOODLES in a large bowl of warm water for 30 minutes.

In a large wok or pot over high heat, stir-fry for one minute:

2 tablespoons OIL

2 cloves GARLIC minced

1/4 medium ONION thinly sliced

2 tablespoons GINGER minced

Add and stir-fry until meat is just cooked through:

1-1/2 pounds organic CHICKEN TENDERS thinly sliced across the grain

1/2 teaspoon SEA SALT

1/8 teaspoon BLACK PEPPER

Add and simmer for 5 minutes:

3 cups CHICKEN BROTH (I use organic Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon paste)

Soaked SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS sliced and the SOAKING WATER

Soaked BEAN THREAD NOODLES

Add and simmer 3 more minutes:

2 medium CARROTS peeled and finely shredded

1 cup thinly sliced PURPLE CABBAGE

1/2 cup matchstick BAMBOO SHOOTS

Top each individual bowl with lots of thinly sliced green onion and serve.

Now, how about dessert! What about some gluten-free, dairy-free Cocoa Bean Cookie Truffles—just like the Oreo® truffles you used to eat!

Read more on Lexie’s blog today!

Don’t forget:

In order to be entered to win one of 7 cookbooks, here’s what you need to do to gather entries into the drawing.  The more you do, the more chances you have to win!

  1. Leave a comment on this blog on as many of the 30 guest food bloggers as you like.  Each comment is an entry.
  2. Sign up for The W.H.O.L.E. Gang newsletter.
  3. Visit that guest blogger’s site and leave a comment there too.
  4. Tweet about this project using both of these in your tweet so I’ll find you  #30days2 #foodrevolution

When the initial 30 days of guest posts are over on June 4th, we’ll pick the winners.

35 Responses to 30 Days to a Food Revolution Day 17- Lexie’s Kitchen

  1. Angela Tompkins May 18, 2010 at 4:09 am #

    So glad Alexa's real life foodie experience and wisdom is being featured here. This recipe makes me want to run to the natural foods market right now and come home to stir it up. Kudos Alexa, and glad to know about thewholegang.com.

    Dr. Wayne and Angela Tompkins

  2. Renita May 18, 2010 at 4:13 am #

    Excellent post! Being fairly new to this "food sensitivity" world, I am still a little overwhelmed. Alexa's tip inspired me to go through my pantry and fridge once again. I know there are forbidden foods that have crept in the last few months. Thank you!! Can't wait to try the recipe, too!

  3. Sara May 18, 2010 at 4:23 am #

    I absolutely loved your post. What great tips. I think I need to go through my pantry again because somehow some of those ingredients gradually snuck back in.

  4. Stephanie May 18, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    I used to make almost this, with tofu and napa. I had it in a restaurant and just loved it. We called it soupy stir fry :) Tofu long-rice is probably more appetizing!

    I'll have to make it again. Thanks for the recipe!

    Question about bean thread, as well as sweet potato noodles like those in jab chae. Are they processed, too? Is it just the starches that end up in the noodles, or do we get proteins and such?

  5. Alta May 18, 2010 at 4:57 am #

    Great post! And I'm glad to now have another great go-to recipe for mung bean thread noodles. I already LOVE making Jap Chae. And I agree about the pantry cleanout – I need to get back in there adn clean out the kids' "snacks" and "cereals" that aren't so healthy.

  6. Aubree Cherie May 18, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    This recipe sounds so tasty. I especially appreciate the tips though. Its scary to think that even if we think we're doing something healthy for ourselves, that if we're not rightly educated on the matter – we might not doing well at all! Thanks for the video links as well :)

    ~Aubree Cherie

  7. glutenfreeforgood May 18, 2010 at 5:23 am #

    Mung bean thread noodles — yay! Will put this on my grocery list. Great post, wonderful tips, lovely recipe. Cheyenne, WY? You're not all that far from me (Golden, CO). Outwest chicken long rice! I love it.

    Melissa

  8. Carol, Simply...Glut May 18, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Really great tip and recipe – Love this post!

  9. Michelle May 18, 2010 at 5:40 am #

    I just printed the "boot list" and will be cleaning out the pantry and fridge. This is a great post!

  10. Jenna May 18, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    Thanks for sharing the "boot list."

  11. amii May 18, 2010 at 7:15 am #

    Awesome post, I would love to eat that way…would someone like to volunteer to change my 14 and 15 year old male's eating habits! While I am out of town somewhere… Whenever I cook like this, they just don't eat…I guess that is not such a bad thing! But, I will need divine intervention to get the 15 yr old from sugary drinks.

  12. Maggie May 18, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    This is such a great post! I am going to pass it on to sooooo many people I know and love. Thanks for the great trips – easy but so important.

  13. Tamara J., Dallas Te May 18, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    Loved reading this post and being encouraged to eat naturally and "toss" the unhealthy foods in the pantry! Glad to find out about the "WHOLE Gang" as well! Can't wait to go try Chicken Long Rice!

  14. Connie May 18, 2010 at 8:29 am #

    Alexa you are an inspiration. I'm going to really try to change my own eating habits, and I will start with my pantry purge. Thank you for the great recipe and for the insight into how we need to change what we eat to change who we are.

  15. Pavla May 18, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Alexa, you are an inspiration for me! I do need to adjust my shopping habits and clean out my pantry. The cereal is a big one for us…so hard to come up with healthy and easy breakfasts every day…

    Thanks for keeping me motivated.

  16. Kristin LiaBraaten May 18, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Thank you Lexie for the wonderful tips on clearing my pantry… a much needed nudge in the right direction. This recipe looks delicious – I'm headed to the grocery store today to pick up the ingredients.

  17. Lexie @ Lexie's May 18, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Angie, Renita, Sara, Stephanie, Aubree, Alta, Melissa, Carol, Michelle, Jenna, Amii and Maggie: Needless to say, I am soooo touched by your comments and for taking the time to leave them! You've made this overcast Cheyenne morning nice and bright!

    Stephanie, you asked how Mung bean thread noodles were made. Thanks for asking and I did a little looking into it. Yep, Mung bean vermicelli is made using Mung bean starch. Eden Selected® sells an organic Mung Bean Pasta you might be interested in. Eden describes the process as; “made of stone ground mung bean flour mixed with pure water to form dough. The dough is extruded forming thin noodles that are boiled and naturally air-dried. The dried noodles are then soaked in cold water for 10 to 20 hours, folded into bundles and naturally dried again before weighing and packing.”

    Agnet.org explains the process as well (flow charts and all). I’d say most of the Mung bean vermicelli on the market is made using the starch of the bean (separated from the protein), so I wouldn’t rely on the bulk of the nutrition in this dish coming from the noodles. Instead, for added nutrition, I’d throw in extra veggies. Bok choy or Napa cabbage would be a yummy addition. Hope this helps.

  18. Erin May 18, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    I am a big fan of all of your recipes and can't wait to try this one! I've personally tried the truffles and they are to die for.

  19. gfe--gluten free eas May 18, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Fantastic post, Lexie! I've done the pantry clean before many times and it's time again for sure. Will definitely keep your great tips in mind. They are very much in line with how I want to eat all the time! Beautiful dish … I've never heard of it, but now I know what to buy at the Asian store next time out. :-) How cool that you grew up on a Hawaiian sugar plantation! We've been to Maui … loved it!

    Thanks so much, Lexie. You are very inspiring! It's beyond wonderful to hear that your dietary changes have made such an impact on your family's health.

    Shirley

  20. Erin May 18, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Thanks for the post! It definitely gave me some things to think about– especially the canned goods– are all cans bad, or just veggies? (like fruit, canned soup, etc)

  21. Sarah P May 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I've seen those noodles at my local Asian market – can't wait to try them!

  22. Breanna - Allergic A May 18, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post. I always felt I ate healthy, until my first son developed severe eczema and multiple food allergies/intolerances. Now that I've learned about reading ingredients, it really is amazing what goes in this stuff we eat! Thanks again.

  23. Christa May 18, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Thanks for the advice! I have to eat healthier because of some allergies and other problems, and I'm hoping that that healthy eating has a positive impact on my family, too.

  24. Amber May 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Thanks for the inspirations Alexa!

    Amber

  25. Kelly May 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    Wow, Lexi, I am beyond impressed. I give you major props. That was uber excellent. I absolutely adore you. Can't wait to see you again!

    Much love, Kelly

  26. Kelli May 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm #

    Yum yum!

  27. Arlyn May 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    Awesome tips! Glad I've changed quite of few things,but still have room for improvement =) I'm definately going to try this recipe!

  28. Michelle May 18, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    thank you so much for your wisdom on attacking the pantry. I have not heard about the can food. Wow, thanks for the info.

  29. Tammi May 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Love the tips and will try the recipe soon…passing on the information to friends and family. Thanks so much for sharing, I'm inspired to make big changes, and the pantry list is the tool I need to get started!

  30. Ellen Allard May 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Good for you for taking matters into your own hands and not following conventional methods. You bravely tackled your son's problem with care and attention and obviously, it worked! Keep it up! Love your blog – will definitely visit regularly!

    Ellen
    http://www.Iamglutenfree.blogspot.com

  31. Kathy May 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm #

    Once again, you have gone above and beyond! I am inspired to give your ideas and recipe a try. Many, many thanks for your efforts!

  32. Stacie May 19, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    Wow! Thanks for all the info Alexa!! It's time to start cleaning out my pantry!! :-) Maybe you can come visit and help me out!

  33. Lexie May 22, 2010 at 10:20 am #

    Tamara, Connie, Pavla, Kristen, Erin, Shirley, Sarah, Breanna, Amber, Kelly, Kelli, Arlyn, Tammi, Ellen, Kathy and Stacie: Phew! Sorry for the delay in thanking you for commenting on this post. Spent the last 2 days in the hospital with my little one (asthma). We are on the mend now :) Your encouragement, feedback and words mean so much!

    Good eating!

    -Lexie

  34. alison May 24, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    Lexie,

    I LOVED your post. Really, really great. And now I have some things on my to-do (or NOT to-do) list! I forgot about mung beans — I need to make these again. I think my daughter would really like this soup. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Alison

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