Elimination Diet

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2014Jan30_3951 2014Feb05_3948 Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.27.20 AM Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.27.32 AMThe elimination diet (cue Darth Vader theme music here) was something I decided to do because I am having a lot of joint pain and trouble sleeping. It was recommended to me by a friend to see if I could find some food intolerances by following this plan. As you can see above pretty much all of my favorite foods were removed (cheese, beef, pork, sugar...) but I am surviving. You remove all of these foods for 3 weeks and then you start to challenge each food in two day increments. These were a few of the recipes I made along the way. First was the spinach and artichoke dip which was really pretty good, no substitute for the one with cream cheese, but good to make in company of vegans. I ate it with bean based or rice based chips. Next the tostada shells (recipe at the bottom) which are actually really rich because of the almonds. I mostly just ate these plain, occasionally with hummus and I used flax seed and water as an egg substitute. Then I made baked lemon and garlic barramundi over onions (fish from Trader Joes) which I kind of liked, but it was still a little too fishy for me. With this I made your typical garden salad garnished with maple walnut vinaigrette, yes it is just as amazing as it sounds, definitely try this one! Finally, and this is my favorite way to make fish, I did this roasted tomato salsa on Mahi Mahi (also TJs) over onions, recipe below.

It has been a really tough 3 weeks, and I have missed dairy greatly, but its also been interesting and a good test in willpower. I now can say I have a lot of it and I am really enjoying challenging the foods back into my diet, hopefully I learn more about what my body does and doesn't "tolerate."

Tostada/Shells (used in place of bread, taco shells, etc.)
*2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
*1 tsp sea salt
*2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
*2 large eggs
*1/2 tsp baking soda
*2 tsp chopped cilantro
*1 tsp fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all the shell ingredients in a bowl and mix until dough forms.
Divide the dough into 8 even balls, rolling them between your hands until smooth.
Place the balls of dough on a piece of parchment paper cut to the size of a baking sheet. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough balls, then use a rolling pin to roll each ball out into a circle, 1/2 inch thick.
Remove the top sheet of parchment paper (can discard).
Carefully transfer the parchment paper on to the baking sheet and bake for 18 minutes, flipping halfway through.
***Could substitute cilantro for another spice to vary flavor (i.e. cinnamon for more of a breakfast option, etc.)

Roasted Fish Fillets with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Tomato Salsa

1 bunch parsley 10 oil packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained

8-10 large fresh basil leaves 3 large, firm, ripe tomatoes, peeled & seeded

1tsp red pepper flakes                1/4 cup small capers

1 large sweet onion, chopped Coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

About 2 TBSP EVOO

Coarsely chop parsley. Add the herbs and red pepper flakes and continue to chop until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the onion. Mince the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the fresh tomatoes and continue chopping until evenly chopped. Transfer the tomatoes and their accumulated juices to the onion mixture, stir in the capers, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, then add enough olive oil to bind the salsa lightly. Taste & adjust the seasonings. Set aside.

3 Large sweet onions, chopped 4 large fresh basil leaves, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 TBSP olive oil

8 (4oz each) fresh fillets (recommend tilapia, flounder, halibut, mahi mahi)

1 fresh oregano sprig, leaves only, chopped

Salt & ground pepper to taste Optional 1oz tequila/vodka

Preheat the oven to 425ºF Lightly oil a baking dish, I use aluminum foil here, large enough to hold the fillets in a single layer. Scatter the onions in the bottom of the dish. Rinse the fillets, pat dry with paper towels, and place, skin sides down, directly on the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the fillets with the basil and oregano, and then drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil.

Roast until the fish is half-cooked. Spoon 3-4 TBSP of the salsa with its juices directly over the fillets. Return the fillets to the oven and continue to roast until the fish is opaque through-out when pierced with a knife.

Transfer the remaining salsa to a small serving bowl. Serve the fish directly from the baking pan. Pass the salsa at the table. Serves 8.