Monday, April 14, 2014

Family Food Journey and Dinner Favorites Part 1: Roasted Garlic Chicken with Rosemary

We are a quirky bunch and our diet is no different! And as it has become quite a big part of our life and our journey as a family these last few years I feel like I should probably talk about it.

Many years ago (about 12-13years) I got sick, very sick. My liver and spleen were distended for many months and my body was in constant pain and I felt generally terrible. About a hundred tests later it was shown that I had elevated levels of mercury and was negative for the main viruses and diseases that might cause my symptoms.

Back then much wasn't understood about some of my issues. One big thing that did seem to help and kind of reset things for me as a "low crab" diet (big stuff back then!). My health improved and we never really got firm answers on what was up, but I was feeling better and that's all that I cared about. The next 10 years flew by as I guess your late teens and 20's tend to do!

Well fast forward to 2007 and my pregnancy with Roo. I was horrifically ill the entire pregnancy. Besides intense "morning" sickness I was also dealing with this horrible intermittent pain that made me wish I could die. Seriously, I have spent days upon days of my life in long labors having our kids. I would take those all over again, in a heart beat. The pain was awful. I almost went to the ER many times, but every time the pain would get to "that point" I'd throw up and it would go away, and stay away for a few days, or even weeks. I told my midwife and OB about it several times and was told that heart burn could cause that and to take some Tums.

I was assured that it was probably a hiatal hernia and it would go away when Roo was born. My third trimester found me up most of the night, every night with this "heart burn", vomiting until it would pass.

And then she was born.

And the attacks continued. Let me tell you, vomiting with a c/s surgical incision across your abdomen? Horrific. When Roo was 3weeks old I took myself to the doctor to get a second opinion on this "heart burn" he said it could be my gall bladder but the pains I was having didn't sound quite right. The pain was like a stake through my sternum that wrapped around the left  and shot down my spine.

To make a long story short after weeks of trying to take care of a newborn, trying a few medications that didn't work, and trying to sleep between hard nursing sessions with a baby who struggled to latch, and what I am sure looking back a raging case of thrush, AND long bouts of vomiting at night I was spent.

I called Ryan home from work one day and said that it had gotten to the point where it was ER time (it was probably WAY past hospital time. But after the weeks of hospital time I had during my Dad's battle with cancer I was extremely reluctant to consider the hospital until i'd exhausted all my other options). We waited many hours in the ER  and when they got the results of my blood work they admitted me. My liver was extremely taxed liver, enzymes through the roof, and if it continued to stay at the levels they were at I was looking at liver failure.

Turns out those attacks were my gall bladder. I had tons and tons of little tiny stones that I had been blocking the duct to my liver almost daily- and passing daily- for several weeks. The pain and symptoms were misplaced due to the pregnancy moving things out of place.

I was kept for a week and I had my gall bladder removed among other tests and procedures. they kept me a few days longer because I spiked a 104.5 fever post op and they couldn't figure out why (I had picked up the flu in the ER waiting room). It was all so very dramatic and we were thankful little newborn Root was able to continue to nurse through it all and stay near me with Ryan and my Mom trading off.

We went home hopeful that the problems were resolved.

But my issues continued.... And they became an issue for more than just myself... More in Part 2.

Here's a family favorite. I am obviously not a professional cook (ha!!). I have learned from trial and error, a few slightly panicked phone calls to my Mom, and the joy of finding new creative foods and tastes that work within our dietary restrictions (more on that in part 2).

Recently Ryan's parents were visiting and his Mom kept asking how exactly I made this or that meal. And I realized... yeah, these are all original recipes! But apart from my genius (wink) I think they are so delicious because they are so SIMPLE. God simple ingredients, real unrefined Celtic sea salt, ground black, and good pure oils like refined coconut oil, and bacon fats (really I think it's the bacon fats). Oh also,  I am a one pan cook whenever I can be, and I love the challenge of seeing how few dishes I can use. I have learned a lot from Rachael Ray on that part!

I thought instead of trying to explain them or type them up to email them to one person I'd share them here with family and friends! 😊 I wrote this for if I was going to he making them 5 years ago and I had no idea how to cook this way.

This first one isn't really anything special, but it IS delicious. Especially with a side of roasted red potatoes, asparagus or kale (recipes for those coming soon).

**we do NOT consume anything with gluten (wheat, barley, rye), any dairy products (well fresh goat milk and cheeses when can get out to a local farm). We do NOT eat regular milk, cheese, yogurt, butter or anything containing those products and or whey), corn, soy, or any other grain but occasionally white rice. We DO eat all vegetables, fruits, meats and we have learned some incredible recipes for delicious muffins and cakes that are made with coconut flour.

Phew! We didn't get there over night. It's been a journey of going on 3 years to eat this way and the learning process is quite time consuming and changes all your interactions with food... I'll explain more in part 2!

Onward to the recipe.

Roasted Garlic Chicken with Rosemary

Picture coming soon! 😉

1 whole Chicken (we prefer clean organic meats when possible)
3-4 cloves garlic (chopped)
Dried Rosemary
2-3T oil or animal fat ( we prefer bacon drippings)
Sea salt

Preheat oven 425 degrees

1. Make sure chicken cavern (or whatever the proper cooking term is) is empty. Dump in chopped garlic holding a few pieces back.
2. Lay chicken breast up in  dish and drizzle oil and spread oil across skin.

3.Spread 2-3 light taps or pinches of Rosemary across chicken and add the few bits of garlic and some salt and pepper too.

Roast at 425 degrees (no lid) for about 2 hours or until internal temp is at least 165 degrees. I prefer to wait until a gentle nudge with a fork makes the legs fall off the bone. If you don't like the skin getting that roasted skin you can use a lid on the chicken.


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