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dairy free


Recipe: First Ever Mushroom Risotto

This was my first ever try at risotto. Not just mushroom, but any kind. It's a gluten-free girl's savior in an Italian restaurant and I've been obsessed with mushrooms recently. I didn't have time to meal plan this Sunday the way I'd have liked (ya gotta live!) so I sort of winged it at Trader Joe's. A girl had their frozen mushroom risotto in her cart and it sparked an idea so I went to the frozen foods aisle, which I typically avoid, and picked it up. NOT GLUTEN FREE. Of course, they had to roll their risotto in wheat flour. Like, why is that necessary? No. Anyway, I went looking for "risotto rice" or what I learned is actually called Arborio rice (like I said, I'm a novice). I actually ended up just buy a box of Trader Joe's Mushroom & Herb Risotto is a box and figured it would be easy for a busy week.

Today at work I felt overwhelmed by how busy I'm going to be in both my work life and professional life the next 6-ish days so I decided to skip yoga and rest. So I ended up making up my own catch-all risotto that kind of uses the pre-made box I bought and kind of doesn't. It ended up turning out delicious and far better than I expected, so here it is:


Take a box of Trader Joe's Mushroom & Herbed Risotto (found in the rice aisle) and cook it as per the directions on the box EXCEPT do not put the packet of seasoning in. Basically, you are just cooking their rice. Easy enough. If you aren't a vegetarian you can add a chicken broth cube for flavoring...optional.)

While that's going, in a skillet saute garlic and one or two diced shallots in a bit of sesame oil and tamari (gluten free soy). Add in any veggies you see fit next. I chose golden cherry tomatoes, halved green beans (haricot vert if you want to being fancy), and a package of shiitake mushrooms. I marinated the shiitake mushrooms in the oil and tamari for just a bit prior and then used that mixture to saute. Take off the heat when everything is just cooked enough.

Once the rice is fluffy and happy looking, open the packet of Trader Joe's seasoning and put literally 1/20th of it in the pot. Then add all the contents of the skillet in the pot plus some olive oil, white wine (I used a cheap chardonnay), parsley, salt and pepper. I didn't measure, neither should you. Mix, eat, done in 20 minutes tops. Gluten and dairy free.

Next time, I'll just buy the rice on its own and use the leftover seasoning packet to flavor if I even need it. Oh, and the leftover chardonnay was nice too.



Read This: The Immune System Recovery Plan

This book has become my bible in just two short months. I finally moved it from my Amazon wishlist to my shopping cart out of the desire to see what Dr. Susan Blum had to say about the immune system that I hadn't already read. 

Well, let me tell you. You says a lot. The book is divided into four parts: adopting a detox diet, fixing stress & adrenal fatigue, healing a leaking gut and cleansing heavy metals from the system. She claims that many of her patients were cured or mostly cured from their auto-immune diseases after following her plan. I was skeptical at first, but I had nothing but some money to lose. She writes a totally relevant and understandable way, including recipes as she goes, while making you understand the root cause of your problems with just enough scientific detail.

The detox diet requires you remove corn, gluten, soy and diary for three weeks, then add each back in separately and keep the foods that irritate you out for good. I skipped this step since I had already been gluten free for a year, tested the effects of dairy on my system (zits and chest congestion... fun), and knew I didn't have issues with corn or soy (except again, zits come with the soy territory too due to the elevated estrogen in it). She also requires the removal of white grain (rice, quinoa, etc) and white sugar. I cut back drastically there but completely is really impossible. I also removed diary from my diet again. For a lot of people, this chapter alone could be overwhelming but power through... it's worth it! 

Next came healing my leaky gut. It just so happened that leading up to reading this book, I had been suffering from major bloating and lower stomach heaviness on and off for about three months. Some days, I literally looked four months pregnant and felt like I had a box of stones in my belly weighing my down (FUPA in yoga pants, my god!). My back even hurt. One day I thought I had ovarian cancer I was so swollen and achy down there. My gynecologist insisted I was fine, of course, and suggested I see a gastroenterologist, but I'm glad I waited. Everything Dr. Blum described as symptoms of leaky gut, I had. Her book has little tests you take that help you determine if you have severe issues and then she gives you remedies for each level of severity. For me, I need to heal my intestines with supplements and glutamine. I followed her steps (I'll go into detail about that in a another post soon) and sure enough, within days of starting her supplement plan and being more vigorous with my diet, I had no swelling or pain. In two months, I have kept it up and had no issues, not even once!

I've moved on to the adrenal fatigue portion of the book now and will get into the heavy metal removal later. It's a lot of information to digest in one sitting. I find myself reading parts of the book over and over again picking up new insight as I get further into the plan. She says it can take up to a year to really heal, but I'm definitely feeling less swelling in my joints and much, much better in my stomach. 

Dr. Blum knows what she's talking about. She was a traditional doctor who was diagnosed with hashimoto's thyroiditis. She healed herself with this plan and now she heals others. If you have fatigue, digestive or auto-immune issues at all, I suggest you get this book and hear what she has to say. I'm only half way through the journey, but it's been worth every second.