Moroccan Pilaf & Cinnamon Sunflower Truffles

A couple of weekends ago I went up to Milwaukee to celebrate Gregory's birthday. We exchanged a few e-mails before the visit to decide on the menu options. He was all about cooking up a delicious dinner that was elimination diet friendly and I could not be more appreciative of that! I really enjoy cooking and baking, but my limits have been stretched on this journey since I need to prepare every meal and snack 24/7 to ensure that I am am not taking in any additives or other foods that I should not be having. Unfortunately this is one of the few recipes that has made me realize that dried fruits (raisins, currants, figs, etc) are a migraine trigger for me, but I still wanted to pass it along, because it is an absolutely wonderful blend of flavors and textures. I have made quite a few recipes from http://www.nourishingmeals.com/ and Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook ,which is where I am gaining all the knowledge for my elimination diet, and everything has been so good. I will continue to make these recipes again and again, even once I am through with this cleanse. We also decided to try our hand and one of the elimination diet friendly desserts and if I do say so myself, they were pretty delectable little treats, even though they looked like cheesy meatballs! It also made me want to invest in a food processor since we had a little incident with a wooden spoon and the blender. Gregory got an extra birthday present and was the lucky recipient of a small wood chip in the last truffle he ate, whoopsy!

Moroccan Quinoa Pilaf
-2 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-1 medium onion, diced
-4 carrots, sliced into rounds
-1 cup raw almonds, chopped
-½ cup currants
-1 ½ to 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
-½ teaspoon turmeric
-½ teaspoon ground cardamom
-1 teaspoon Herbamare (this can be found in the natural/organic spices; you can also substitute sea salt)
-4 cups chopped kale
-4 to 5 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (about 1 cup dry)
-1 small lemon, juiced

1. Heat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions for 5 minutes. Add in carrots, and saute about 10 minutes more. Until soft but not quite browned.
2. Add the almonds, currants, and spices- Saute 5 minutes. Add in chopped kale (still wet from washing) and saute 5 more minutes.
3. Stir in Quinoa and stir until thouroughly mixed and all ingredients are heated through. Remove from heat and add lemon juice.

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Cinnamon Sunflower Truffles  
-2 Cups raw Sunflower Seeds
-2 Tablespoons Cinnamon
-1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
-1 Cup Pitted Medjool Dates
-2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
-2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup
-1/2 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1.Place the sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt into a food processor fitted with the "s" blade. Process until seeds are very finely ground. It only takes a minute or so.

2.Then add the pitted dates and olive oil. Process again until combined and sticky. Only add the agave or maple syrup if need be. Your dates may be moist enough and you might not need extra sweetener. Check to see if you can form a truffle by rolling some of the mixture in your hands. If it falls apart then add the sweetener and process again. If I were to do this again without a food processor I would process the dates in a separate blender and then mix them with the sunflower seeds.
3. Scoop out the sunflower mixture by the large spoonful and roll into balls. Then roll in shredded coconut. Store in the fridge for up to 10 days.

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Dessert Squash

The cleanse is going well, and I have only had 2 migraines in 3 weeks. That may not sound great, but lately, that is a new record for me. I know one migraine was stress induced and the other may have been triggered by the addition of almonds into my diet. I will test them again in a week or two in order to confirm if it was a fluke or not. Anyway, I am feeling great! I have so much more energy than usual and in general I am in better spirits. It has actually been an easy process for me and there is nothing that I am really craving. Although I definitely have my days where my fruit intake is through the roof, so I must be in need of some sugar :) Last week, I was having one of those days, so decided to concoct a little something that would satisfy my sweet tooth and still be 'Elimination Diet' friendly. Maybe my taste buds are skewed after 3 weeks of only fruits and veggies, but I thought it was a delicious treat!

Apple Cinnamon Acorn Squash (makes 2 servings)

1 Acorn Squash
2 Apples
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut Acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Fill a glass baking dish with about a 1/2" water. Place squash in a glass baking dish cut side down. Bake for 30 minutes, or until squash is tender.
2. Slice the apples and mix with maple syrup and cinnamon.
3. Once squash is tender, flip over in baking dish and fill each half with the apple mixture. Bake another 15-20 minutes.

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