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our healthy-eating cookout menu

Six weeks ago, due to health issues, my husband and I began an elimination diet to see if we have any food sensitivities, and to give our bodies a rest and a chance to heal.  It’s a very limited diet.  The things we have to eliminate are many of the foods we eat on a daily basis.  Eggs, dairy products, wheat (and several other grains), sugar, honey, oranges, peanuts, soy……..  I can’t say it hasn’t been stressful!  Missing the foods hasn’t been the issue.  Sure, we’ve had our cravings, but the longer it lasts, the more stressed out I am about reading every label, scrutinizing every recipe, trying to keep variety in our meals.  I’m ready for it to be over.

Something you don’t really think about beforehand when starting a diet like this is how it will affect your social life.  We have eaten out only once in the past 6 weeks!  (and boy was that stressful, finding something “wrong” with everything on the menu)  We skipped a church luncheon, we went to a friend’s anniversary party and watched everyone enjoy cake and punch, our family felt obligated to cook foods we could eat for our Mother’s Day gathering, chickenetc.  We just don’t go out much because every meal or snack has to be home cooked, mostly with fresh ingredients.

The least stressful outing was the Memorial Day cookout.  Some friends invited us to join them at a park where they would be grilling burgers and hotdogs.  Of course, we can’t have either, so we had to bring all our own food.  So here is what was on our lunch menu….

Grilled Chicken

  • Butterfly cut chicken breasts.
  • Brush both sides with Drew’s Roasted Garlic & Peppercorn Dressing.
  • Grill about 6 minutes on each side.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • (After scouring the health food stores for a salad dressing I could eat, I finally found one.  It’s very good, both on salad and meat!)

Garlic & Rosemary Pasta

  • Cook a 16oz package of spiral pasta according to package directions.
  • Saute 1/2 cup finely chopped onions and 6 cloves chopped garlic in about 1/4 cup olive oil, until garlic becomes crispy.
  • Add 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary to onions and garlic, cook about 2 more minutes.
  • Stir olive oil mixture into drained pasta until coated.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  • (I made this ahead of time.  It still tastes good cold.)

Roasted Broccoli

At home, I use this recipe for cooking broccoli. (omitting the parmesan while we’re on the diet)  I’ve never cooked veggies on a grill before, so this was an experiment.  I chopped it and tossed it at home, then grilled it in a foil-lined grilling basket.  It didn’t turn out too well and we ended up throwing most of it away.  It probably would’ve been preferable to do asparagus or something like that, but I had broccoli on hand.  I’m sure with a little tweaking we could make it work.  I may try it again some day here at home.

And for dessert…..

“Baked” Apples

  • Core 1  golden delicious apple and cut into 1 inch chunks.  Place in a glass bowl.
  • Add 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tsp shredded coconut, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg.  Toss until coated.
  • Place plastic wrap over the bowl, leaving a small vent for steam.  Microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir and serve.
  • I usually do 4 or 6 apples at a time in a large bowl, cooking them for about 2 minutes per apple and stirring every 2 minutes.
  • (I made these just before leaving the house, so they were still warm when we ate them.)

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