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Cooking for Special Diets: Simple Solutions for the Busy Holiday Season

Here are some quick recipes to save you time before vacation starts, the kids are home and stores are packed with last-minute shoppers.

Editor's note: Check back Monday on Patch and read about some special diet-friendly holiday events coming up around Oakland County.

It's a busy, busy time of year.

Whatever your faith or customs, this is an event-packed season and the race is on to get things done before vacation starts, the kids are home and stores are packed with last-minute shoppers.

I say I'm going to work ahead every year and have my cards addressed and ready to go, my house decorated and holiday gifts made or wrapped by Thanksgiving. It has yet to happen.

So, in these busy times, it's nice to have a few recipes that will help me save time. For special dieters, these are the standbys we cling to, especially since stopping for a little pick-me-up isn't always an option.

A healthy dieter whose son goes to school with my kindergartener sent me a few of these recipes that make me very thankful. During a busy school event, we talked about cooking with gluten-free ingredients. Soon after, I got an email with two flax seed recipes that couldn't have come at a better (or more busy) time.

In the mad dash that happens every morning, I grab a cup of coffee and a cup to bake a Flax Seed Muffin in a Cup. Healthful and filling, the great thing about them is that they are extremely quick and simple.

Perfect for the holiday rush.

Flax Seed Muffin in a Cup

My friend says she uses these gluten-free recipes regularly because they are low carb. She uses stevia but suggests replacing it with sugar, honey or whatever sweetener works best for you. I used succanot and it was delicious and beyond easy.

  • Melt 1 tbspn. coconut oil (such as Spectrum found at , , and , among other grocery stores) in coffee mug for 30 seconds in microwave.
  •  Stir in dry ingredients with a fork. To save more time, try to prep the dry ingredients in small containers in bulk so that you can just grab them and make them quickly in the morning. Dry ingredients are: 1/4 cup flax seed meal, 1/2 tspn. baking powder, 1 packet of stevia in the raw (or 1 tspn. sweetener), 1 tspn. cinnamon.
  • Beat in one egg with fork.
  • Microwave 1 minute. Pop out of the cup and slice into thirds. Great with cream cheese, peanut butter or jam.

Flax Seed Bread

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Mix dry ingredients – 2 cups flax seed meal, 1 tbspn. baking powder, 2 tspns. sea salt, 2 packs stevia (or 2 tspns. sweetener).
  • Mix wet ingredients – 5 eggs, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup oil.
  • Mix wet and dry together and let sit a couple of minutes, but not too long or it turns too thick.
  • Spread on a flexible baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment so that it's about 9-by-12 inches. Make sure it's flat with square edges for slicing into sandwiches later.
  • Bake 20 minutes, transfer onto cooling rack, slice in eight pieces. I split each piece in two to make sandwiches.
merleengel November 26, 2011 at 10:13 AM
I found a site where you can get coupons for restaurant called Printapons they are on all over the news, search online
denisefrancisz November 27, 2011 at 06:09 AM
Look for things you buy anyway, like yogurt or cheese, and see if there are coupons for those things. You should have a store loyalty card if your store offers one, like safeway or sample things before you buy best place would be to check is "Get Official Samples"

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