For awhile now I have wanted to share a bit about my most recent exciting photography opportunity, and today is the most perfect day of all to do so. This opportunity came about a few months ago when the creative director at Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine contacted me. She wanted to know if I would be interested in a doing photo shoot for an article on gluten free foods written by Debbie Johnson, that they would be publishing in the magazine. I was to shop for the ingredients, make the food, and then take pictures of it all to accompany Debbie’s words in the magazine. Needless to say, I took the job! And my taste buds were super happy about that! Taking that job led me to this opportunity and connect with Debbie on a personal level as well. I thought today would be a good time to use some of the photos I took for her article.
Debbie Johnson is the best-selling author of Think Yourself Thin. Debbie also wrote a “Natural Recipe” Column for The Edge Magazine and was the former owner and executive chef of The Golden Chalice Restaurant & Gallery, a 100% gluten-free, sugar-free, low-glycemic, organic, allergy-friendly establishment. I am very happy to have Debbie here with us to share some of her gluten free knowledge of food and experience with us.
Debbie: I’ve always loved cooking. The Easy Bake Oven toy for kids was my favorite gift ever as a kid and I don’t think anything has surpassed it! When my mom went on Weight-Watchers, I realized that I loved cooking for special diets. I reveled in her joy when she tasted the “legal” lemon-meringue pie I made for her.
I also love inventing, so I invent food everyone can eat. Writing came naturally for me, so the cookbook was a given after my gluten-free, low-glycemic, allergy-friendly restaurant closed.
Debbie: I had sinus problems, mild chronic fatigue and other health issues. I’d heard a lot about wheat and gluten being bad for you, especially now that we hybrid wheat for such high gluten content more and more. I tried it and felt that it certainly helped. It just felt better to eat that way.
Debbie: It was a “boutique” restaurant, beautifully decorated to make those with health issues feel special. It was a place where they could relax, enjoy the ambiance, and eat whatever was on the menu! Each dish was a base gourmet dish, like our Lemon-Cashew Curry, which could be made vegan, vegetarian, or carnivorous! Guests could choose desserts that fit their needs. If dairy-free, a Sweet Cashew Cream could be used to top the Sweet Cherry Tart instead of whipped cream.
Some of our gluten-free guests were literally in tears when they asked our servers, “You mean I can eat anything on the menu?” I didn’t allow any gluten in the restaurant.
The restaurant also had an art gallery as you entered with spiritually uplifting art and music.
Debbie: I’ve heard that 90% of all conditions, that’s all conditions, including mental illness, are directly related to nutrition. I find it to be true for me. For example, if I avoid night-shade vegetables (there are very few in my cookbook), I have less joint pain and fewer hot flashes.
Debbie: Even though I said that food is directly related to health in most cases, what motivates us to eat better? For me, and for readers of my books who have written me, it directly relates to how we think of ourselves. If we think we’re ill and will never get better, we’re right. If we think we will get better, we’re right! It’s like we take a picture with our minds and get the image back within a short time, like the old photos that we got developed at the photo shop.
I gained forty pounds dieting, so obviously beating yourself up doesn’t work! I then gave up dieting, ate what I wanted and started using techniques I’d learned in sales and marketing. Imagine my goals and simply be of service! It worked, and I lost the entire 40 pounds and have kept it off over 25 years. Not only that, but I think healthy, strong, youthful and it seems to keep getting better! You can get my ebook Think Yourself Young as a bonus book along with Think Yourself Thin, if you are interested. All my books, including the cookbook, Fun with GF/LG Food, are listed on my website.
Can you share a recipe from your cookbook with us today?
Debbie: Sure, how about the “Pesto Un-Pasta”, since you enjoyed that so much.
1 medium organic Spaghetti Squash
½ cup thinly sliced organic Red Onion
½ cup julienne (cut lengthwise in thin strips)
organic Red Bell Pepper
2 Tbsp organic Ghee
or 2 Tbsp virgin Coconut Oil
1 cup organic Zucchini slices, julienne
3 Tbsp organic Classic Pesto
1. Cut Spaghetti Squash in half and clean out seeds. (If you
don’t have a sharp enough knife to do this, simply bake
whole and clean out seeds after baking.
2. Drizzle 1 Tbsp of Ghee on each half, cover and bake at
350 ºF for 30 minutes or more, depending on whether
or not you like your un-pasta “al dente”—a little chewy.
Scoop out 2 cups of Squash, which should now look
somewhat like spaghetti. It’s easier to keep in strands if
you use a fork to take out.
3. Sauté Onion and Pepper in Grapeseed Oil or Ghee.
4. Add Zucchini to above and continue to sauté.
5. Add Spaghetti Squash and Pesto and blend in well.
Makes: About 1 cup
1 cup loosely packed fresh, washed organic Basil Leaves
¼ cup Pine Nuts
¼ cup shredded organic Parmesan Cheese
¼ cup organic cold-pressed, virgin Olive Oil
1. Blend in blender.
Debbie is generously offering a copy of her gluten free e cookbook, Fun With Gluten-Free/Low-Glycemic Food!, (a $27 value) to one lucky winner along with a free half-hour phone consultation.
To enter simply leave a comment below. COMMENTS ARE NOW CLOSED
**For an additional entry, you can share this post (facebook, twitter, on your blog, email some friends, call your mom, etc.) and leave yet another comment letting us know how you helped to spread the word.**
This giveaway will close FRIDAY morning 8am EST. The winner will be chosen via random number generator and announced in this post shortly after.
Thank you so much Debbie for taking the time to be here with us and share some of your gluten free knowledge.
And the winner is: Holly Malinowski, “I would love to win this cookbook.I have been celiac for 9 years,and yes after all this time am running out of ideas,sometimes going back to bland food!!! This cookbook would help with the creative love of food!!!!!Thanks for giving us this oportunity!!!!!!!!”