Recently I have been struggling with  good old eczema, which has decided to make a “flashy” return all around my mouth. It’s always such a blow to my self-esteem when it comes back, especially when it settles in right on my face :(!

While in the past I have resorted to steroid creams, which caused a severe staph infection on my face four years ago, now I know better. So gluten had to go, completely, even my sour dough spelt and rye crackers. As hard as it was to give up these delicious foods, the irritated red rash on my face was even more devastating.  However, cooking gluten-free can be a challenge. Imagine how excited I was when my sister in law, Caitlin, who blogs at Grass Fed Girl, published her Paleo Mediterranean cookbook. These recipes are all gluten free and many of them are also dairy free, with easy to follow instruction and simple ingredient lists.

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When I first met Cailtin a few years ago we connected over a plate of lettuce-wrapped burgers and kombucha. I fell in love with herright away. She is a strong, determined, and honest woman who struggled with weight gain for years – 238 pounds in her early twenties – and through Weight Watchers lost more than ninety pounds! A few years later, her energy waned and she felt exhausted all the time. Caitlin was diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroditis a few months later. Instead of breaking down, Caitlin actively sought  ways to heal herself, and she discovered  the power of nutritious foods. Caitlin enrolled in the holistic nutrition program at Bauman College in Berkeley to become a nutrition consultant. She has helped many clients loose weight and find their way towards vibrant health via good food and exercise. All the recipes, even the desserts, have been carefully picked for their nutritious and healing qualities.

Why Mediterranean?

Cailtin is married to Nabil, a talented chef from Algier, who loves cooking with traditional Mediterranean ingredients. This power-couple combined their love for food and created a lovely recipe book for a paleo and a gluten free audience.

If you find gluten-free or paleo cooking boring, you need to check out this cookbook. This weekend we are making lemon ginger chicken tajine for dinner and egg florentines for breakfast. The Mediterranean twist can bring whole a new dimension to your meal.

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Two days ago I made their grain-free crackers and eggplant baba ghanoush for snacks and appetizers. They taste so good that the bread we bought this week has stayed unopened.

With Caitlin’s permission, here is one recipe from the cook book for Baba Ghanoush.

Baba Ghanoush

Word of caution: Make sure you poke a hole in the eggplant before you put it in the oven. Mine exploded! My housemates made fun of me for days for that one.

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)

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Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bake whole eggplants for 20 minutes.
  3. Poke the eggplant with a fork and when soft, remove from the oven.
  4. Let the eggplant cool.
  5. Cut off the top of the eggplant and put them into a food processor whole.
  6. Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, and lemon juice to food processor.
  7. Pulse the mixture a few times until all ingredients are combined.
  8. Add in the tahini and pulse again once or twice.
  9. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  10. Pour the dip into a serving bowl and serve with your choice of raw vegetables.

We served the baba ghanoush with veggies and delicious grain free crackers another great recipe we made  from Caitlin and Nabil’s book. Warning!  The crackers are addictingly good by themselves!!

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P.S. I have been completely gluten free for two weeks now and my eczema is almost completely gone, with no steroid cream or doctor’s visits necessary. Just lots of delicious healing foods! 🙂

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