I Choose ISU interview and grad school

Hello everyone! I was recently interviewed for my university’s “I Choose ISU” profile. You can check it out here: http://www.isu.edu/headlines/?p=7412

My senior year has proved to be a busy one! I decided last semester to apply to coordinated graduate programs that would allow me to get a master’s degree and complete the supervised practice hours needed for the Registered Dietitian exam. I am waiting to hear back from one more school but look forward to new adventures ahead.

I have been micro-blogging on other sites, so I am working to feed some of that content back here to Jenny Bee Cooks. I look forward to connecting with you all again and sharing some of my busy student, allergen-free survival tips!

Gluten-Free Grilling

This summer, I decided to buy a grill and teach myself how to use it. After an hour at our local Lowe’s, we came home with a charcoal grill, a chimney, and some grilling utensils.

I decided on a charcoal grill because it was easier and cheaper for our initial grill purchase, and the employee at Lowe’s talked us into going with a chimney instead of using lighter fluid.

grill collageThe chimney is very simple to use:

1. Pour desired amount of charcoal into chimney.

2. Stuff newspaper in the space underneath the charcoal.

3. Light the newspaper.

4. Wait 15-20 minutes for the charcoal to turn white then pour onto the grill.

While the charcoal heats up, head back into the kitchen to get the food ready to toss on the grill.

Once the charcoals are white-hot, pour them in the grill in a small pile and replace the cooking grid. Now you’re ready to grill!

You can grill just about anything. Meat, veggies, fruit, etc. Here are some tips for a safe, gluten-free cookout:

  • Be safe. Cook your meat until it’s at a safe internal temperature. Read temperature at the thickest part of the product. (I have this food thermometer. It’s a little spendy but absolutely amazing.)
  • Be mindful of cross-contamination. Don’t put ready-to-eat food on the same plate that held raw meat. Cook gluten-free food before gluten-containing food. Use separate utensils as necessary.
  • Be assertive about your food needs. Talk to your host in advance (or your gluten-free guest) to make sure there is appropriate food available. Food allergens can be sneaky. For example, I attended a BBQ recently and the hamburgers had been seasoned with a spice mix that also had corn starch, so I could not eat it.

Have fun! There are tons of great grilling recipes out there. Next on my list is grilled gluten-free pizza (!!!).

Gluten-Free Teriyaki Sauce

Gluten-free, soy-free teriyaki sauce is hard to find, but I made it on accident.

In a small bowl, combine equal parts:

  • Sesame seed oil
  • Maple syrup
  • Plum Vinegar

Add garlic chili paste if desired. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

Use it as a marinade for meat or vegetables, or as a sauce over noodles or rice. Enjoy!

Good and Cheap – Free eBook

In case you missed it, a lady named Leanne Brown created a beautiful (and free) eBook with easy to follow recipes. Best of all, it works within the budgetary confines – about $5 per person per day – of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – formerly Food Stamps).

Here’s the link to the free PDF of her book.

Browse, adjust recipes as you need to  and enjoy!

World Cup-inspired treats

flag food

In honor of yesterday’s World Cup final match between Germany and Argentina, I compiled these treats. I originally attempted to make cookies, but they turned into pancakes. So I made these “flag” plates. Germany (left): black olives, yellow and red peppers. Argentina (right): blueberries, pancake cookies, and a peach. I just realized that I made the German flag in the wrong order, but hey, the effort was there!

Happy Birthday Cake!

This lovely lady and I have been friends for a few years now. She celebrated a big birthday this month and asked me for a cake that would fit her current eating plan: no peanuts, gluten, soy, corn, dairy, or sugar (except stevia or xylitol).


I landed on a recipe from one of my favorite allergen-free blogs – Real Sustenance. I wanted to do something warm and comforting, but not chocolatey. I decided to play around with this Elivis Blondies recipe.

Instead of peanut butter, I used homemade hazelnut butter. (Not recommended: save yourself the time and mess and buy it pre-made.)

For sugar I used xylitol.

I used coffee instead of milk or water. Partly because we’re barista friends, and partly because I just brewed myself a french press worth of the liquid gold for my late night study evening.

I skipped the bacon and decorated the cake with banana slices. It was a hit.




ISU Family and Consumer Science Honor Society gets National Award

ISU Family and Consumer Science Honor Society gets National Award

The Beta Rho chpater of Phi Upsilon Omicron is the Family and Consumer Science Honor Society I joined in April 2013. We put on a community workshop in November and won the first place award for our project. In this ISU news briefing, I am pictured with the club president just moments before I started gluing my fingers together.

Spanning the Spectrum

I’m excited to share that I was selected as a student poster and podium presenter for ISU’s Division of Health Research Day 2014, “Spanning the Spectrum.” This Friday afternoon, I will be sharing about weight bias, which is the negative attitude towards overweight and obese people, specifically in the health care setting.

For more info, check out this link: Research Day 2014

It’s March? When did that happen?

Whew! It’s been a busy few weeks. 

ISU opened Benny’s Pantry to students, staff and faculty on January 20. So far, we have received donations of about 1000 pounds of food and distributed over 800 back into the community. I could not be more pleased with how well it has gone so far. We have trained over 50 students as volunteers and have worked with different clubs organizations’ food drives. (If you’d like to help: non-perishable food items can be donated to at various locations in the Pond Student Union Building in Pocatello, or the Bennion Student Union Building in Idaho Falls. Monetary donations can be made through the ISU Foundation.)

As I mentioned a few months back, I am involved in a fun research project this semester. I will be able to say more here in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!

Last weekend, I drove to the beautiful and snowy Victor, ID, for a cross-country skiing retreat hosted by ButtIn Gear, a local company I have volunteered with for the last couple of years. The owner, Jennifer, and I met a few years back when I worked at Mountain View Hospital. She is a personal trainer and a life coach. Jennifer invited me to prepare lunch for the participants and talk about how I used my experience with food allergies to find my voice and become my own advocate. I learned to focus on what I could eat, not what I could not eat. This mindset has allowed me to explore new foods and break past the feelings of depression and deprivation that can come with food allergies. I was grateful to Jennifer for the opportunity to cook and share with her group.

Besides that, I am staying busy with classes. We’re only three weeks away from Spring Break and I look forward to a little bit of time off. 

Well, back to the books. We had an Idaho spring snow storm overnight, so Scott and I are staying cozy inside with games and studies. Happy Saturday! 

Easy French Toast

I woke up on Saturday morning craving, of all things, french toast. It has literally been years since I had any, and as I am trying to respect my body’s cravings, I decided to go for it. I had a carton of egg whites in the fridge and figured with a little recipe adjustment, I could have myself some fried, eggy, ciannamony bread.

I searched online for “egg white french toast” and landed on a recipe from AllWhiteEggWhites.com.

Original recipe:

1/4 cup egg whites
1/3 cup milk
1/2 t vanilla
1/8 t ground cinnamon
2 T butter or margarine
6-1 inch slices French bread

Adjusted recipe:

1/4 cup egg whites
1/3 cup dairy-free milk (I used coconut milk unsweetened beverage)
1/2 t vanilla
1/8 t ground cinnamon
2 T coconut oil
Bread of choice (I used my current favorite gluten-free brand)

The instructions stayed the same:

1. Combine all ingredients except butter (coconut oil) and bread (Gluten-free bread) in a bowl until frothy.
2. Heat butter (coconut oil) in medium skillet until sizzling. Dip bread slices in mixture and place in skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
3. Serve immediately with warm maple syrup (or cinnamon sugar sprinkles on top).

The results were delicious. I ate them while standing in the kitchen cooking more slices. And, the adjustments weren’t too difficult to make. I used the milk, bread, and cooking fat that work for me and follow the basic recipe structure.

For my egg-free and Vegan friends, here are some French toast recipes that would work for you:

Vegan Banana Waffle French Toast from Brittany Angell

French Toast to Go from Chocolate Covered Katie

Have you adjusted any of your favorite recipes to meet your new eating style? What recipes have you yet to change but want to?