Family life, Paleo-ish eating and Coping with Chronic Illness

How to Make Zekaroni

On the way home from church this week our middle son, Zeke, said, “I’m never gonna be in Mom’s blog. I’m too boring.” He was being funny. We laughed.

It is true. Zeke is boring. Zeke is boring in a way that brings tears of joy and deep floods of gratitude to the deepest part of a parent’s heart and soul. We all know that life can feel random. Sometimes life will deliver to you a nice, swift karate chop to the neck. Other times, you give birth to a kid like Zeke. I could write a three page essay on what I love about Zeke, but that may be an annoying read to anyone he doesn’t call Grandma or Grandpa. And, I’m positive Zeke would never forgive me. He is a real pill when it comes to limelight. He doesn’t like it. I guess it’s just one more thing he inherited from a mother who blogs about her life every week. Chip off the ol’ block, that kid is.

Let’s focus on something practical instead. Zeke is learning to cook. This is what happens to a boy who is forced to offer almonds and hard boiled eggs to all his friends when they visit.

Zeke was born a picky eater. Over the years we have transitioned to eating only real food in our house. Zeke’s sacrifice has probably been the greatest. As a little guy, he was really passionate about his hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. We used to give him Pop Tarts for Christmas (really). Another of his favorites was Macaroni and Cheese on Sundays after church. Oh, does he mourn the loss of Mac and Cheese.

Too bad for Zeke, he is really logical. More than any one in our family, he wanted to know the science behind WHY we were making so many changes to our diet. He did a research paper on the subject for school. He is one of those people who is not good at trying to unknow something once he knows it. So, I guess he’s stuck.

As Zeke has foraged through cans of coconut milk, almond butter and unsweetened applesauce in our pantry, he keeps hoping to find something different. Something that actually tastes good, and is easy. Well, he’s given up on the easy part; he’s decided he’d better learn to cook. He recently recreated something that he says is ALMOST as good as Macaroni and Cheese. It’s gluten free Alfredo. We’re gonna call it “Zekaroni”.

If you’re still under the impression that a fat free diet will help you not be fat, then you won’t want to try this. It’s more for folks who are looking for something that tastes really good, but won’t be overly irritating to the gut. You would not want to eat this every day, but it sure makes a nice Sunday treat. The dish will always be different, depending on what you decide to throw in at the end.

The Alfredo sauce is based on a recipe my sister’s Mother-in-law, Judy Rahn, gave me many years ago. I just hollered my instructions to Zeke while I was in the other room, and he did the rest.

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1 Box of Thai Rice Noodles (cook according to directions on package)
1 Stick of Organic Butter
1.5 cups of Organic Chicken Broth
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Basil
2 Tbs Tapioca Flour
1/2 Cup Organic Half and Half
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

*Whatever meat and vegetables you choose.


Put a large skillet on medium heat. Melt the butter. Add the chicken broth. Use a whisk to stir. Slowly sprinkle the Tapioca into the mixture. Stir constantly. Turn the heat up to medium-high and keep stirring until it boils.

When the liquid thickens, turn the heat down to low. Add salt and basil. Then, add Half and Half and Parmesan Cheese. Dump the cooked noodles in along with whatever else you’d like. Continue to heat and stir occasionally until everything is warm. Zeke added chopped turkey breast, organic mixed veggies, and some awesome chopped up, organic sausages we had from Costco. Nice touch, Zeke.

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