How I Stopped Being Stubborn & Started Loving Pears

By Miranda

Recently I was craving one of my old favorite snacks: apple slices with peanut butter. I got sad about it for a little while, wishing I could just cheat on my diet without painful consequences, but I flare up easily from both apples and peanut butter, so I decided against it. A few days later it hit me; pears and almond butter would be a great substitution!

When I was first diagnosed with IC I couldn't believe that one of the only fruits left in my life would be pears. I literally hadn't consumed a pear in over 20 years at that point. I lived off apples, but I was completely unimpressed by pears for pretty much my whole life until about 3 years ago.

It took a little while for me to stop being stubborn and start loving pears, but luckily I gave in eventually. Now I eat (and enjoy) one almost everyday.

As it turns out, pear slices with almond butter make a great snack. Want to know a secret though? Pear slices with caramel dip make an even better one!


A Big Ol' Pot of Vegetarian Chili

By Jaclyn

Something about the cooler weather makes me want to eat all of my food with a spoon. There are lots of delicious soups and bisques to warm your belly, but for me, the best cool weather dish is hot vegetarian chili.
My vegetarian chili is sweet, spicy, and really easy to make. Everything can be done in one big pot, which means no piles of dirty dishes!

Vegetarian Chili:
(Serves at least 8. I eat this for days.)

1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of diced tomato, drained (I get the kind with the Mexican spices)
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 15 oz can of dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 package of frozen corn (or fresh corn if you have it. I usually use the Steamfresh super sweet corn)
1 package of Morningstar Farms veggie grounds, or other vegetarian ground hamburger substitute
1 medium to medium-large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp cumin (the spice of the gods)
1/2 tbsp dry ground mustard
1/2 tbsp table sugar
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
Olive oil
20 grinds of cracked black pepper
More salt and pepper to taste

Put about a half a tablespoon of olive oil in the chili pot on medium heat and add the chopped onion and garlic. Let the aromatics get aromatic, then add the Morningstar veggie grounds. Stir the onions, garlic and grounds until the grounds are warm, then add the tomato products and the kidney beans. Add all of the spices, the corn, and the jalapeno. Stir until heated through and salt and pepper to taste. I usually let this simmer for a few hours, but you can really eat it just like that.

Depending on my mood, I might add a bit more chili powder and red pepper flake. If it gets too hot, I've been known to add a square of dark chocolate. You can pretty much add anything in here and it will be insanely flavorful and it will feed you for days.

I like to serve this with a dollop of low fat sour cream and some shredded cheddar and a warm multigrain baguettea or some corn tortillas.

The best part is that this is chock full of veggies and fiber. Mmm, delicious fiber.

Happy Fall!


GF Enchilada Casserole

By Irene

Just like those with IC (ahem..Miranda!) those of us who eat GF run into some major issues when trying to enjoy a good ol' tortilla. Should we risk the "crunchy" knowing that they are commonly more wheat and less corn? Go with those soft corn tortillas that rip when you fill them with anything warm, or just eat something along the lines of a rice-bowl or a taco-flavored salad?

This recipe is my solution to the tortilla conundrum. It's warm, gooey, cheesey and crunchy and will leave you wondering what non-GF eaters are thinking!


2- cans of enchilada sauce
1- can black beans (low sodium is best)
1- can vegetarian refried beans
1- large bag of "fiesta" blend cheese
1- package (you will need about 12) small corn tortillas
1- small package yellow rice (publix brand is the lowest in sodium by far!)

*sour cream for garnish is optional and good!


Cook the yellow rice first. When it's just about done (it can be left a tiny bit underdone) start layering the tortillas into a square baking pan. I put 4 on the bottom, let them slightly overlap and crawl up the edges of the dish for support (all this food will need some support!)

Spread about half the can of refried beans onto the torillas. Add a layer of rice, sprinkle with cheese (if you are me sprinkle means make it rain cheese) and pour on some sauce.

Put down another layer of tortillas. Add the can of black beans. Add cheese. Add another layer of rice (this should be about it for the rice). Add sauce.

Again, tortillas. The rest of the refried beans. Rest of sauce (if you think you're adding too much sauce, you might be right. You don't necessarily need to use both cans, but then again, enchilada sauce is delicious.)

Now for the crunch. Add a top layer of tortillas. Sprinkle (downpour) with chese. Bake on 350 for approx. 35 mins. Enjoy! And forget why anyone would not be GF! Hooray!