Friday, 13 July 2012

nice buns! pizza buns that is...

This is my new go- to meal. You know the kind I mean. You always have the ingredients in stock, it takes minutes to throw together, it is delicious and everybody, even the picky pants eaters in the house like it. And sometimes, not often, there are leftovers for lunch. This is a new favorite. And it is super easy.

It's a pizza loaf, for lack of a better word. It is crispy and doughy, and super tasty. You can roll up whatever you want, or have in the fridge in it. You can't go wrong. Well, I guess you could, but you won't.

Here's what you do:

Take a package of ground meat- I've been using ground turkey because that is what I've had in the freezer, but you could do this with ground beef, ground buffalo, or even chopped chicken or beef or pulled pork, pulled chicken- the possibilities are endless really. You could even do a vegetarian version. Whatever suits your taste buds.

Cook the meat with some tomato sauce, salsa, curry, whatever "sauce" you like. Add whatever spices you like. I added fresh basil because that is what I had on hand.

Pre- heat the oven with your pizza stone in it to 400 degrees.

Roll out some pizza dough. I buy already made, frozen portions of pizza dough at the Italian bakery, but you can use whatever pizza dough you like, store-bought or homemade. I roll it out fairly thin, but not so thin that it might tear while rolling it later.

Mash up an avocado and spread it on the dough. cover this with the cooked meat. Layer whatever other vegetables you might like. Tonight I put yellow peppers. Don't get carried away though. You don't want too much in here as it will be difficult to roll later. Mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, etc... are all good options. Add a layer of shredded cheese.

No roll the dough until you have a loaf. 

Seal the ends as best as you can.

Carefully place it on the hot pizza stone and put it back in the oven, cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the dough looks done and a little crispy.

Slice and serve with a salad. Voila!

xo Jo

ps. it might drip while baking in the oven, so put some tinfoil or a drip pan of some sort to prevent having to clean the oven later.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

for parents of kids in diapers...

Not the most glamorous post, but this posting goes hand in hand with my other earlier postings about striving to create a more natural, healthy, less chemical, synthetic and processed home environment.

Recently, my 8.5 month old daughter has been suffering from a terrible diaper rash. Her diaper area is red and looks scalded.  It must be really painful for her as she squirms and scratches at it. I took her to the doctor as I was concerned about getting her comfortable again. It looked so raw and painful. This recent heat hasn't helped matters. I was disappointed in the Dr's advice consisting of simply applying a cortisone/anti-fungal cream. Apparently most of these types of diaper rashes are yeast based.

I was not comfortable with this prescription. Steroids for a baby, even in a small doses, seem like a bad idea. These are the known side-effects of cortisone creams:

"...  thinning and discoloration of the skin, easy bruising, permanent dilation of certain blood vessels, burn marks on skin, itchiness, perioral dermatitis, liver and kidney damage and a weakened immune system. Recent studies further reveal changes in the shape or location of body fat (especially in your face, neck, back, and waist), increased acne or facial hair, menstrual problems and impotence. Not only this, but steroid use almost always produces a "rebound effect" of the very symptoms you are trying to get rid of!

Studies have shown that if more than 500g of hydrocortisone is used per week, sufficient steroid may be absorbed through the skin to result in adrenal gland suppression and/or eventually Cushing's syndrome. " (

This is terrifying to me.
 I worried about the anti-fungal medication in the cream killing good bacteria as well as the bad, creating a potentially worse situation and leaving her weakened and easy prey for other infections. Additionally, "Infants prescribed nystatin cream may experience skin irritation at the application site. Symptoms of skin irritation include redness, burning, itching and irritation. Occasionally, an infant's rash may become worse when treated with nystatin cream, requiring discontinuation of the treatment" (

Umm- ok- so a cream that is supposed to help a skin irritation can actually cause an irritation? Hello? This sounds counter-productive and down-right stupid to me. It can also cause stomach upset. 
Further, after trying the cream for a couple of days, the rash did not appear to be getting any better. It was the same, if not worse.

Enough is enough. The poor little mouse was suffering!

I thought that feeding her yogurt would be a good option to help her fight the infection. I love yogurt. I think it is one of the most healthful and delicious foods one can eat. Moreover, it is common knowledge that yogurt is an extremely effective yeast killer. And then my mom and I thought, why not put the yogurt right on the rash itself?  It can't hurt, it might soothe the discomfort and kill the yeast using friendly bacteria that exist within our own bodies while supporting her own immune system and defenses. I didn't have any homemade yogurt on hand this week, so I used an organic, full fat yogurt with no gelatin or other additives and no sugar! This would just encourage yeast growth.

And guess what? It seems to be working.

Then I wondered if there was any basis to this approach, and I quickly found this information on the Live Strong site. Apparently I'm not crazy. It is tried and true.

I just had to share this with other parents who are also uncomfortable giving such strong medications  to babies, to anyone for that matter.

xo Jo