Saturday, January 5, 2013

Clean Cowboy Caviar & Gluten Reaction

We just returned from our annual family reunion. It is January 5 and day 4 of our 30 Day Clean/Healthy eating challenge.  Typically the reunion has always been held January 1, which would have worked very well for us. However, a vote moved it to the first Saturday in January. I would like to go back to January 1 as I know that come January 2 we will probably be ringing in the new year with healthy eating to detox from not so good choices for the holiday season.
Fortunately my two sisters are detoxing with my husband and I, so we had a couple of healthy choices from which to choose, although it was hard to resist the holiday fudge, cookies, cakes and pies. My husband asked if he could skip this day, and I said "what? no way!" Gosh, am I a touch team coach or what? Sorry, honey.
I had taken my Asian slaw (recipe found in this blog), one sister brought turkey/quinoa chili, and another brought baked beans - of which I hope were detox friendly, I should have asked what was in it! We did well, and held fast to our cleanse.
On the way to our reunion I was inspired by another member on my team. It is day 4 and she has lost 5 lbs. and  her pants are already loose.  She has been eliminating all the allergenic foods, and was doing very well until last night...when they went to a fish fry. (It is Wisconsin on a Friday night for many.)  The fish was lightly breaded, and she thought a little wouldn't hurt, right?  So she at it.
This morning she awoke with swollen fingers, ankles that could barely bend, and stomach bloating. Have you figured it out? She was having a gluten reaction. Her body became immediately inflamed - gluten is not her friend and as a sufferer of fibromyalgia, it is one ingredient I have repeatedly urged her to give up for good. She had been feeling great for several days, but not this day as she awoke to pain. 
Her reaction to gluten has reaffirmed her resolve to folllow the 30 Day Arbonne Healthy Living plan for the entire 30 days. She also has a wedding coming up this year - and she is looking forward to looking great and feeling great as the mother of the bride.
As we noticed the limited foods on the buffet table, I was inspired by my friend's pretty immediate results, and decided to come home and make a detox friendly salad often served as a party dip or appetizer. I had all the ingredients from last weekend.  A tip on keeping your fresh herbs, such as cilantro, fresh - place them in your refrigerator in a glass with water.  I pulled my week old cilantro from the refrigerator and it was perfectly fresh - love this!

(Use organic/fresh ingredients when available.)
2 (14.5 ounce) cans organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup organic white corn (can be frozen, thawed)
4 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and diced
1 bunch green onions, greens only (use scissors to snip 1/8-1/4" pieces
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped finely
1 red sweet bell pepper
1 lime, juiced
Chipotle Seasoning by Pampered Chef
2 ripe, but firm avocados, diced (add just before serving)
1 cup detox friendly Italian homemade seasoning

Detox Friendly Italian Dressing
1/4 cup organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
3 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp. Hermamare seasoning
1/4 tsp. celery seed
Pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the black beans, and corn if needed. Add to a large bowl. Dice the tomatoes, pepper, making sure the seeds and insides are removed. You want to do this to make sure that there isn’t too much liquid. Add the diced tomatoes and cilantro to the bowl. Slice the green onions finely (or use purple onion as a substitute) and add to the bowl. Tip: use a scissors.
Sprinkle generously with Chipotle seasoning to taste for a little zip, or use a diced jalapeno pepper if desired.
Add the Italian dressing and stir to coat all the ingredients. Add pepper to taste. (Herbamare seasoning contains sea salt.) Chill in the refrigerator until cold and flavors have marinated together. This is best served the same day as prepared. 
Before serving....dice the avocados and squeeze a little of the lime juice over the avocados so they don’t brown as quickly. Squeeze the rest of the lime juice into the bowl. 
Serve with homemade sweet potato chips or organic, GMO free corn chips, such as Xochitl brand.
This gluten free salad or appetizer is certain to become a favorite. It is great as a side salad along with grilled chicken breast and brown rice, or on top a bed of greens with diced, grilled chicken - very filling and satisfying - a delight for the tastebuds!

To your health!
Rita S.

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