Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The results have been amazing. The fall/winter months have always been my worse for bouts of stomach issues. I would say this year stomach problems have been consistent throughout all the seasons. I'm not saying I don't have any difficulty but on a bad to good scale of 1 to 10, I'm calling most days a 6-8 whereas last winter I labeled most days a 1, 2, or 3. I do have to really watch what I eat. For me, that means no cheating of any kind. I also exercise religiously because that has a positive effect as well. Right now, I'm giving the sunlight and Vitamin D a thumbs up.
Life's looking pretty sweet. As an added bonus, I found a recipe for a spicy-sweet mustard glaze that makes roasted veggies absolutely delicious. Here's the super, easy recipe.
Spicy Mustard Dressing
1/2 cup spicy mustard
3 T. olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 T. maple syrup
Mix all the ingredients together. Cut up veggies such as brussel sprouts, carrots, onions, cauliflower, zucchini or winter squash or potatoes. Toss with spicy mustard sauce and then roast in the oven until tender. Another version would be to roast the veggies first and then toss them in the dressing. Try it both ways and see which one you like best. This dressing will make you want to eat a whole plate of veggies.
Friday, November 28, 2008
In the days that follow, I can make up some of those additional sides that I like and serve them with the turkey leftovers. That way I don't feel cheated or deprived. I can still eat them, just not all of them at the same time.
I try not to eat a lot of sweets but I admit I like to have something sweet every day. One of my favorites is chocolate-dipped frozen pear slices. It's very simple to make and really satisfies the need for something sweet without breaking the calorie bank and messing up your stomach.
Chocolate-dipped frozen pears
Peel and slice one or more bosc or other favorite pears. Dip the ends of each pear slice in a little chocolate sauce. I use Wax Orchards Fat-free, Fruit Sweetened Fudge sauce because it's vegan and delicious. It contains only fruit juice concentrate and cocoa, and has about 45 calories per tablespoon. Place the pear slices on a wax-paper lined plate and place in the freezer to freeze. Thaw the slices out slightly to eat and yum!
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Pear sorbet is one of my favorite recipes for pears. I get lots of soluble fiber and a low calorie sweet treat. Here's the super easy recipe:
Ingredients for two servings:
2 pears peeled, cored, sliced and frozen (Bartlett or Bosc are two of my favorite varieties.)
1-2 T. fruit juice sweetener (I use Wax Orchard's fruit sweet.) Or use 1-2 tsp. of agave nectar or other sweetener
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup ice cold water
Thaw the pear pieces out just slightly. Put frozen pears, crushed ice, sweetener and water in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is blended into a nice sorbet-like consistency. Serve immediately in desert dishes with sprigs of mint.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
But this year has been different. I have had a few moments here and there but so far I'm holding my own. I attribute this to sticking with my rotation diet and my regimen of taking Vitamin D daily. I'm also trying a daily pumpkin seed oil tab because as an anti-inflammatory, it is supposed to ease IBS symptoms. Fall has just gotten under way: I'm being a good girl in terms of diet; and time will tell.
In the meantime, here's a refreshing desert that's very kind to a sensitive stomach because it's loaded with mint: Kiwi-Mint Sorbet (serves 1)
2 medium kiwis, peeled and quartered
small palmful of chopped fresh mint (Use less if you don't like a lot of mint taste)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup ice cold water
1-2 tsp. agave nectar or other sweetener
1. Peel, quarter kiwis and freeze until slightly firm on a tray in freezer. Or freeze kiwis pieces ahead of time, remove from freezer and thaw slightly.
2. Wash and chop fresh mint leaves.
3. Put semi-frozen kiwi pieces, crushed ice, cold water and sweetener in a food processor and blend. Add a few mint leaves at a time and pulse. Taste. Add more mint depending on personal preference. I like mine really minty.
4. It should form a smooth sorbet-like consistency.
5. Serve in an ice-cream dish, garnished with a sprig of mint.
6. If kiwi-mint sorbet is too soft, freeze until slightly firm in the freezer.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I'd be happy to share more information about the rotation diet with anyone who is interested. It's really not all that complicated once you get into the routine. And it's all right if you occasionally go off of it. I do all the time when I travel.
The salmon with apricot salsa actually is a rotation diet recipe. Individuals with IBS or other stomach issues may have to remove the apricot skins and cook them until just heated. I didn't remove the skins but I did saute the apricots and onions in the recipe. Here's the recipe and directions.
Salmon with Apricot Salsa
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp. mustard seeds
1 pound apricots
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1-2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 seeded and chopped jalapeno is optional (I'm allergic and it doesn't belong on this day's rotation diet plan.)
4 salmon fillets
Rub of choice for salmon: I combined 2 T. sea salt, 2 tsp. ground cumin, 2 tsp. coriander seed, 1 tsp. Spanish paprika, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. black pepper, and rubbed it all over the fillets.
Directions:Toast the mustard seeds in a skillet with a little oil. Pour the seeds into a medium sized bowl and let cool slightly. Halve and pit the apricots. Then dice the apricots and chop the onion. Saute the diced onion and apricots in a little oil in the same skillet. Saute until just tender. Don't overcook. Add the sauted onion and apricots to the bowl with mustard seeds. Toss in lemon juice and cilantro. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours.
Meantime, prepare the salmon to be grilled or pan fried. Rub the salmon all over with the rub and allow to set for a bit before cooking. Then, grill in the oven or on a barbecue or pan fry. Top with a little olive oil during the cooking process. Serve with a wilted greens salad and topped with several tablespoons of apricot salsa. I recommend wilted greens because fresh salad is often not tolerated but most sensitive stomachs. Ignore the fact that I pictured the salmon in the photo above with a fresh salad. That was my husband's dinner and it looked prettier than my wilted salad.
Friday, July 18, 2008
I did find some absolutely delish vegan mayo that I've been using on everything. It's that good. I've tried other vegan mayos before but nothing compares to Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise. I used my newly discovered "safe" mayo to make a sun-dried tomato topping for cod fillets. You'll love this recipe both for its delicious taste and simplicity of making. And it's all safe for individuals with IBS or other digestive issues.
Cod with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (served with Roasted Potato and Asparagus Salad)
Ingredients for Cod:
1 pound cod fillets
8 sun-dried tomato halves, not oil-packed
1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo)
2 T. chopped parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper
Ingredients for Roasted Potato and Asparagus Salad:
6 medium red potatoes, cut into quarters
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
8-10 chopped sun-dried tomatoes
8-10 chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease or spray two glass baking dishes or other oven pans. Soak tomato halves in 1 cup boiling water for about 5 minutes or until softened. Drain and finely chop. Reserve for later. Toss potatoes with 1 T. olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking pan and bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Steam asparagus pieces in boiling water for about 4 minutes or until tender. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, mustard, 1 T. olive oil. Add potatoes and drained asparagus pieces. Toss to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup of the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and basil. Set aside.
Place fish on pan and bake for 8 minutes. In the meantime, mix the remaining sun-dried tomatoes with 1/4 cup vegan mayo, parsley and pepper. Remove fish and spread some of the sun-dried tomato topping on each fillet. Reserve any extra for serving with the fish. Bake the fish 4 minutes longer or until topping is light brown and fish flakes easily with fork.
Serve fish alongside a bed of wilted greens topped with potato salad and roasted broccoli spears. Yum! Even a fish skeptic will love this dish.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I didn't have much energy but I really wanted salmon burgers for some reason. I propped myself up in the kitchen and went to work. It was worth it. Here's the recipe.
Salmon Burgers with Dill Potatoes and Cabbage Slaw
For the salmon burgers:
2 salmon fillets, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Egg replacer for one egg
1 T. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. g/f hot sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 shallot minced
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Olive oil for cooking
Place the salmon in a food processor and pulse until minced. Put the salmon into a bowl and add the egg replacer, fish sauce, hot sauce, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon juice, cilantro, mint, salt and pepper, and quinoa. Fold the mixture together. Using lightly oiled hands, form the salmon mixture into 3-4 patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. In the meantime, prepare cabbage slaw and roasted dill potatoes.
To pan fry, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Cook 2 salmon burgers at a time. Cook about 7 minutes total, turning half-way through. Serve with chilled cabbage slaw and oven-roasted potatoes.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I was craving something Mediterranean for dinner this evening after I picked fresh arrugula in my garden. I don't know why arrugula made me think Greek food but it did. I came up with a recipe, called Mediterranean Chicken with Olives, that contains lots of my favorites: artichokes, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives. You can sprinkle some feta cheese on top as well if you can tolerate cheese. I used the arrugula in a wilted arrugula/spinach/red onion salad.
Mediterranean Chicken with Olives
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup red wine
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
2 T. oregano
6 sprigs fresh thyme with leaves removed
4 chopped garlic cloves
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
2 T. chopped Kalamata olives
2 T. agave nectar
2 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 can quartered artichokes
6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
feta cheese (optional)
In a large skillet, heat 1 -2 T. olive oil. Saute garlic. Add chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides. Then add oregano, thyme, red wine, red wine vinegar, additional olive oil, olives, agave nectar, lemon juice. Reduce the liquids down about half by cooking on medium high heat. Add in the artichokes and grape tomatoes. Heat well. Reduce temperature and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve chicken topped with artichokes, grape tomato sauce. Sprinkle with feta cheese if tolerated.
Make it a complete Mediterranean meal by serving the chicken on top of a bed of cooked quinoa (my substitute for coucous) with garlicky green beans and wilted arrugula/spinach/red onion salad as side dishes. Make the green beans by steaming fresh or frozen green beans. Chop up two garlic cloves and add to a skillet with a little olive oil. Saute the garlic and then toss in the beans and a can of sliced water chestnuts, drained. Mix the ingredients. Drizzle on bit more olive oil and squeeze on a little lemon juice.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Do you like hot and hearty breakfasts that keep you going throughout the morning? Then the crockpot cereal from the cookbook is for you. Here's the recipe which I adapted by adding some additional protein and fiber.
1/3 cup each gluten-free steelcut oatmeal, whole amaranth grains, quinoa grains and buckwheat (kasha)
4 T. ground flax
4 T. vegan rice protein powder
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
4 1/2 cups water or do half water and rice milk (or other alternative milk beverage)
Toppings of your choice: I like diced kiwis, blueberries, hemp milk, toasted pumpkin seeds and a teaspoon of pomegranite molasses
Put all the dry ingredients in a small crockpot right before bedtime. Add the liquids. Put on the lid and turn to low. Say goodnight and wake up to a delicious hot cereal. Put in a bowl and serve with your favorite toppings.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
peas raw but I knew that could spell disaster for someone with IBS or other sensitive digestive system issues. I decided my system could tolerate the peas if I used them as an ingredient in one of my favorite recipes, Veggie Patties with Honey Mustard Sauce.
Put the following veggies in a food processor and grind to a uniform size:
1 carrot, peeled, or a small handful of baby carrots
1/2 red onion
2 celery ribs
1 cup sugar snap peas
Add and continue grinding:
1 cup cooked quinoa
2-3 garlic cloves
Optional: toasted sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds (1/4) and/or 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
Dump the mixture into a bowl or keep it in the food processor if you have a cavernous one.
Add to the mixture and blend in:
egg replacer for one egg
1 T. sesame oil
2 tsp. vegan worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. balsalmic vinegar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. minced fresh or dried parsley
1 tsp. chicken or veggie broth
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
1/2-1 cup brown rice flour
Shape the mixture into 6-8 patties and dredge with additional brown rice flour. It's best to chill the patties for several hours before cooking but if you're hungry like me after a bike ride, just pan fry for several minutes and eat and enjoy. Wrap the extras up and place in the freezer. Before freezing, separate each patty with a piece of wax paper so it will be easy to remove just one for cooking.
Top your patty with Honey Mustard Sauce:
Blend in a small bowl:
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used Grapeseed Veganaise. Found it at the local co-op. It doesn't have any eggs and is absolutely convincing as a mayo replacement.)
2 T. agave nectar or more if you want it sweeter (You also may use honey.)
3 T. Dijon mustard (I look for one without eggs and gluten-free.)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
My stomach is feeling awesome! It's been nearly a month now without an attack, and I even spent a week in Seattle during that time period. It's too soon to say exactly what is responsible for this improvement. Some possibilities are: adding a daily B-Complex vitamin along with a Vitamin D capsule, taking antibiotics for a possible bacterial infection, or lord, only knows. I also have been following an eating regimen, free of dairy, gluten, egg, corn and nuts, for a good six months. Could finally be paying off. Well, today I'm posting a dinner recipe free of all of those ingredients that everyone in my family loved, and none of them have any dietary restrictions but they still gobbled it up greedily.
Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs with Potato Mashers (serves 4)
1 pound ground turkey breast
1 garlic clove finely minced
2 tsp. poultry grill seasoning
Salt and black pepper
15-ounce can of tomato sauce (all natural)
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup natural ketchup
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup all-fruit apricot preserves
1 tsp. dried thyme
Mashed red or Yukon gold potatoes
Roasted zucchini squash or steamed asparagus or broccoli
In a large bowl, combine turkey, garlic and grill/herb seasoning, 1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper. Mix well and shape about 16 meatballs. Place meatballs in the bottom of a slow cooker.
In a food processor, mix together tomato sauce, broth, ketchup, vinegar, apricot preserves and thyme. Pour mixture over meatballs.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Season, to taste, with additional salt and pepper. Serve over a heaping helping of mashed potatoes and side of veggies.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Ingredients for 2 servings:
2 cod fillets
spice blend of 2 tsp. each ground true cinnamon and paprika; 1 tsp. chili powder; plus 1/2 tsp. each salt and black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
2 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 medium onion chopped
2 large lettuce leaves (I used romaine lettuce.)
Prepare the spice blend by measuring ingredients into a jar with a lid. Shake to mix. Spray a grill pan or prepare your barbecue. Rinse the cod fillets and pat dry. Rub the cod fillets on both sides with cinnamon-paprika spice blend. Divide the onions and garlic evenly between the 2 lettuce leaves. Place the fish on top of the onion-garlic mixture on the lettuce leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and white wine. Grill the fish on their lettuce leaves (about 10 minutes). The fish is done when it flakes.
Serve the Spanish cod with steamed rice (white or brown) and roasted veggies such as zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli or asparagus. Consider a tossed baby green salad with hearts of palm drizzled with a light balsalmic dressing if your stomach can tolerate it.
Friday, May 16, 2008
I'm always on the look-out for different ways to serve my favorite seafood. Recently, I found a recipe for salmon with sweet beet sauce in a Rachel Ray cookbook. The simple addition of pomegranate molasses to the sweet beet sauce recipe made it even more "yummalicious."
Grilled Salmon with Pomegranate Beet
2 roasted medium-sized beets, peeled and grated
2 T. olive oil
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
1 small red or yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 T. pomegranate molasses
Wash and scrub the beets. Wrap individually in aluminum foil and bake for about one hour at 350 degrees. Do this the day before or in the a.m. of the day you plan to make the recipe. I usually do a half-dozen beets at a time to make use of the hot oven and have extras for another recipe. They store well in the fridge. Allow the beets to cool before peeling and grating.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet, and add the garlic and onions. Cook for a few minutes until the garlic and onions are tender. Toss in the beets and stir and heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and white wine. Bring to a bubble. Then allow to simmer for several minutes. Finally, mix in the pomegranate molasses for some extra pizazz.
Serve the beet sauce on top of grilled salmon filets with roasted brussel sprouts and brown rice on the side.
It was worth getting over my skepticism. Hemp milk is delicious alternative milk with a thick, creamy texture and slightly nutty taste. This non-dairy beverage may not be what most people picture pouring over their cereal or dipping their chocolate chip cookies into but it qualifies as a “super food” for someone like me who has allergy or intolerance to dairy and IBS/stomach issues. It scored well with both problems.
Each eight-ounce serving has about 130 calories that pack a powerhouse of nutrition with:
A perfect one-to-three ratio of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
All 10 essential amino acids
4 grams of digestible protein
Essential Vitamins A, B12, D, E, Riboflavin and Folic Acid.
Essential minerals: magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc.
46 percent of RDA of calciuim
Hemp milk is made from water and hemp seeds, which apparently are one of the plant kingdom’s most complete sources of protein, as well as an ample supply of omega 3 and 6, magnesium and antioxidants, like Vitamin E and chlorophyll. The milk is fortified to supply additional vitamins and minerals.
Hemp milk is available in plain, vanilla and chocolate, and offered by two companies, “Living Harvest Hempmilk” and “Hemp Bliss.” I tried out vanilla Living Harvest Hempmilk since that what was available at my co-op. One of my first concerns was “Would I be able to tolerate it?” I’ve tried other alternative dairy beverages (soy, nut, rice milks) and had “issues” with all except rice milk which has great taste but comes up short in the nutritional area.
Hemp milk can be tolerated by most individuals with food allergies because it’s free of all the top allergens: milk/dairy, wheat/gluten, soy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts. The vanilla hemp milk is vegan and contains brown rice syrup, rather than cane sugar. It is close to milk in taste and consistency, and can be poured over cereal, consumed straight from a glass or used to make a smoothie.
The downside is hemp milk doesn’t do well when heated and tends to separate. Supposedly you can use it in cooking as long it’s not heated above a certain temperature. I tried pouring it in my hot tea, and it separated. I plan to do more experimenting with cooking with hemp milk.
I did make and enjoy a “Strawberry Hemp Milk Smoothie.” I was impressed by how thick and creamy it was. Here’s the recipe:
Strawberry Hemp Milk Smoothie
1 cup chilled vanilla hemp milk
1 T. vegan rice protein powder
1 cup frozen strawberries
Blend on high in blender. Pour in a glass and enjoy.
My conclusion: I plan to purchase more hemp milk but at $3-$4 a quart I may have to restrain myself. Actually, compared to other alternative milks, it’s not all that spendy. My next indulgence will be trying the chocolate flavor.
Also, I found out if you have the time and proper equipment you can make hemp milk yourself. The pluses are you skip all the sweeteners and other add-ons, and it's definitely cheaper. You can buy a five pound bag of hemp seeds from Manitoba Harvest or Nutiva for about $60. You also need a good blender like a Vitamix or a K-Tec. This is my next investment and project.
Friday, May 9, 2008
But that doesn't mean you should eliminate fat from your diet as your body needs healthy fats. Not all fats are created equally. Stick with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) and Omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil and sunflower oil are my MUFAs that I rely on. Some Omega-3's that work well are fish oil, flaxseed oil and sesame oil. I try to eat 1T. of healthy fat per meal, as well as with most snacks.
Watching my fat intake has become second nature as a defense mechanism againt getting an IBS-like attack. I have avoided marinated veggies because they usually are heavily marinated in oils. Imagine my surprise when I sampled some marinated asparagus at a local farmer's market that had no oils in the marinade. And it was delicious. I got the recipe and went home and tried it. I enjoyed eating the marinated asparagus as they were but you also can make an asparagus relish that goes great with fish or poultry. I used the relish with quinoa/turkey burgers. Yum!
Marinated Asparagus Relish
Ingredients for the Marinated Asparagus:
1 bunch asparagus (ends cut off and blanched)
4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
1 cup white wine
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and cracked black pepper
Mix the ingredients together and place in a covered container overnight.
1 cup finely chopped marinated asparagus
1 medium red bell pepper minced (optional), 1/4 cup minced red onion and 4-5 cloves garlic mashed. Saute all three.
1 T. chopped parsley
1 tsp. rosemary finely chopped
1 T. wholegrain mustard
1 T. honey, agave nectar or apple juice concentrate
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Top fish or poultry with a generous helping of the relish. Serve some whole marinated asparagus on the side.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Ingredients:1 cup sorghum flour (buckwheat flour can be substituted)
2 T. ground flax (or substitute 1 T. natural fiber supplement such as Acacia Tummy Fiber)
1 cup tapioca starch
4 T. arrowroot powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 T. organic brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
Optional: 2 scoops rice protein
1-1 1/2 cups rice milk
2-3 T. olive oil
3 T. applesauce
2 tsp. vanilla
Lots of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
Start heating your waffle maker. Spray with olive or canola oil. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine liquids in a separate bowl (start with 1 cup rice mik and add more if needed). Add liquids to dry ingredients and mix with a whisk. Add remaining milk as needed to obtain desired consistency. Follow your waffle maker instructions for making waffles. That means don't peak too soon. When waffles are ready, top with strawberries or other fruit.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and chop veggies, potatoes for roasting in oven. Toss with 2-3 T. olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a sprayed roasting pan and slide in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.
Prepare chicken for grilling in the oven. Place 1 T. lemon juice, salt, pepper, thyme and smidge of olive oil in a bowl. Coat the chicken with the mixture. Place the chicken pieces in a grill pan with a bit more olive oil. Brown for a few minutes and then slide in the oven to finish cooking.
Prepare the cranberry/cherry salsa. Simmer cranberries, cherries, apple juice concentrate, ginger in a saucepan over medium heat until the cranberries and cherries are soft. Remove from heat. Saute the spinach in a large, heavy pan or skillet with 1 T. olive oil. Cook over medium high heat until the spinach is wilted. Add salt, pepper and 1 T. lemon juice. Toss to coat.
Serve chicken on a bed of lemon spinach with a dab of cranberry salsa on top and a serving of roasted veggies and potatoes on the side. And thank yourself for cooking something that's this healthy and delicious.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
In the meantime, I'm thinking it's time to make something with some of that great fresh asparagus that available this time of year. I just had a flashback remembering when my kids and I used to hunt along the ditch banks and country roads near our home for wild asparagus. It was incredible while it lasted. These days, most of it is gone because of housing developments and road improvements. I'll always cherish the memory of the three of us swinging out bags of asparagus as we headed to the kitchen to trim and wash it for dinner.
Lemony Asparagus Noodles with Roasted Veggies and Lemon-Pepper Chicken or Fish
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 pound fresh, trimmed asparagus
1/2 large caulifower, trimmed and cut into pieces
1 large broccoli head, trimmed and cut into pieces
4 T. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup sorghum flour or other gluten-free flour such as brown rice or amaranth
1 pkg. quinoa pasta noodles
Optional: fresh basil or mint
Optional: rice or soy parmessan cheese
Wash and trim all veggies. Cut cauliflower and broccoli into small pieces. Cut off tips of asparagus leaving with 4-5 inches of stem. Cut rest of stems into one-inch pieces. Place cauliflower, broccoli and long asparagus tips into large bowl. Toss with 2 T. of olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour out onto a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet, sprayed with pan spray. Set the oven on 400 degrees and roast the veggies until tender (about 30 minutes but keep an eye on them).
Boil chopped asparagus stems in a medium pot of boiling water with salt. Cook for about 9 minutes or until tender. Save the asparagus water and transfer asparagus stem pieces to a food processor. Puree the asparagus stems with lemon juice, 2 T. olive oil , 3/4 cup asparagus cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste, until smooth. Remove to a pan to keep warm on the stove.
Try adding some fresh herbs, such as basil or mint, to the asparagus sauce.
Cook the pasta according to directions. Cook the lemon-pepper chicken or fish filets. I used sole filets and chicken to please the variety of preferences in my household. Season the meat with salt and pepper and roll in seasoned flour in a pie plate. Brown both sides of the meat in an oven-safe skillet with a little olive oil. Leave the meat in the pan and place in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, place some noodles on plates, top with some roasted veggies, then some sauce and garnish with additional veggies. Sprinkle on the optional soy parmessan cheese. Place a piece of lemon-pepper fish or chicken on each plate. Enjoy this delicious taste of spring.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
A bowl of soba (buckwheat) noodles with spicy veggies and Asian meatballs sounds like just the ticket for a cold spring day. Here's the recipe:
Asian Turkey Meatballs with Soba Noodles
For the Meatballs
4 green onions, chopped
One-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
3 T. low-sodium, wheat-free soy sauce
2-4 tablespoons fresh finely chopped mint or cilantro
1 T. lime juice
1 pound lean ground turkey
For the Soba Noodles and Veggies
8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles (make sure you get the ones that are 100 percent buckwheat)
1/3 cup low-sodium, wheat-free soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame oil
one-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. lime juice
1 T. agave nectar
1/2 cup or more chicken broth
2-4 T. minced fresh mint or cilantro or both
2 medium yellow squash, peeled, halved and cut into moons
2 medium zucchini, peeled, halved and cut into moons
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
6 cups bok choy, sliced (Try baby bok choy if you can find it.)
1 T. vegetable oil
Note: If you want more veggies, go ahead. They're good for you. Try some broccoli, kale or Chinese cabbage.
For the meatballs
Place in the food processor: green onions, ginger, garlic and 3 T. of soy sauce, cilantro/mint and lime juice. Pulse until finely ground. Add the meat and continue to process to combine. Roll the meat into meatballs. Brown the meatballs in a skillet with some oil. Place the meatballs in the oven on low to keep them warm while preparing the other ingredients.
For the noodles and veggies
Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add the squash and onions, and stir fry until the vegetables are just beginning to get tender. Add the bok choy and mushrooms, and 2-4 T. of water or chicken broth, cover with a lid. Cook until the bok choy and mushrooms are tender.
To a measuring cup, add chicken broth, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, mint/cilantro and agave nectar. If you want your soba noodles more soup-like, add more chicken broth. Add to the vegetables and stir well. Cook until heated through.
To serve, place some soba noodles in a bowl, top with a generous helping of veggies in sauce, and a 3-4 meatballs. Enjoy your delicious meal!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Sound familiar? I guess it's pretty common among people with IBS and other stomach disorders. In some individuals, their symptoms may disappear for months. Often, the individuals can't identify anything they've done differently. There are, in some cases, explanations, such as unidentified food allergies, a stressful situation or poor eating habits.
I have dealt with all of those issues and still have the on-going problem. But I keep searching for answers. Along the way I have discovered some great foods to replace ones I am no longer eating. Quinoa is one of those foods. It's another great grain for individuals with stomach issues, like IBS, because it's so digestible but yet high in fiber and protein. It has more protein than any other grain (16.2 percent) which means it rivals the protein content of meat.
I decided to use quinoa to whip up a roasted veggie pizza with an herbed quinoa crust. I didn't use any cheese, although you could use soy cheese, but it was still delicious.
Quinoa Pizza with Roasted Veggies Recipe
(Makes two servings)
Ingredients for the Crust:
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 tsp. gluten/free baking powder
2 T. olive oil
1/2 zucchini, peeled and grated (It's important to remove the skin if you have IBS.)
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 tsp. each dried rosemary and thyme (Other fresh or dried herbs may be used.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Approximately 1/4 cup water
Ingredients for the Toppings:
2 zucchinis, peeled and cut into half-moons
1 yellow squash, peeled and cut into half moons
10 grape tomatoes, halved
10 mushrooms, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1-2 T. tomato sauce
Additional herbs such as rosemary, thyme, basil (Fresh would be best but I only had dried on hand.)
Salt and pepper
Optional: Shelton's Italian Turkey Sausage (I used three links and picked this brand because it's gluten-free)
Prepare the topping veggies for roasting in the oven. Wash all the veggies. Then, peel and slice the zucchini and yellow squash into half moons. Halve the grape tomatoes. Slice the mushrooms. Reserve the grape tomatoes. Put all the other veggies in a bowl and toss with olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Place the veggies on a baking sheet. sprayed with pan spray. Roast the veggies in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. You want the veggies to be somewhat soft but not mushy so watch them carefully. During the last 8-10 minutes, add the grape tomatoes to the mix. Remove from the veggies from the oven to cool slightly.
If you are using the sausage, prepare it according to package instructions. Cut the sausages into bite-size pieces.
In the meantime, prepare the crust. Put the quinoa flour, baking powder, herbs and salt in a medium bowl. Add the olive oil and mix. Prepare the veggies. Fine chop the zucchini in a food processor or with a hand grater. Chop the spinach up with a knife and then put it in a microwave-safe bowl. Steam the spinach with a little water in the microwave until slightly wilted. Drain the spinach. Add the veggies to the dry ingredients and mix. Then begin adding water to make a soft dough. If the dough gets too wet, add more flour. Wet your hands with cold water and shape the dough into two balls to make two crusts. I reserved half the dough for another meal. It freezes well.
Spray a baking sheet with pan spray. Shape the dough into a pizza crust right on the baking sheet. Keep your hands moistened with cold water to make the dough easy to handle. Bake the crust for 5-8 minutes before adding the toppings. Remove the crust from the oven when it starts to crisp up.
To finish the pizza, first spread some tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle the tomato sauce with herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a layer of fresh spinach leaves and herbs if you have them. Follow with some of the roasted veggies and sausage. Place the pizza back in the oven for approximately 5 minutes to heat through. Remove from the oven and enjoy with some additional roasted veggies on the side. I promise you won't even miss the cheese but if you must have cheese, use soy cheese.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
I think I have solved the problem at least for my taste with several quick flatbread recipes I came up with. Both of the flatbreads pictured here are made with amaranth flour, an excellent source of fiber and protein.
I save time making these flatbreads by simply pressing the dough out onto a greased baking sheet with my hands into one large flatbread. After the bread is baked, I can cut the bread into large or small pieces depending on my intended use. For snacks, I cut the bread into small triangles or squares. I can cut larger squares if I want an open-face flatbread sandwich or salad.
The flatbread works well with an allergy rotation diet too. You can use the same recipe I'm providing below and substitute other whole grain flours, such as buckwheat for one day, quinoa for another, and sorghum or brown rice flour for the last day. It all works for me because it's easy and the result is delicious.
Amaranth Spinach Flatbread Recipe
I modified an Indian parathas recipe for this bread.
2 cups finely chopped spinach
2 cups amaranth flour
1-1 1/2 tsps. salt
1- 1 1/2 tsp. each dried dill and basil
1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
2-3 T. olive oil
Water, as needed
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with pan spray or line with parchment paper.
Put the chopped spinach with water to cover in a microwave-safe bowl and nuke until the spinach is wilted. Drain off the water. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, flour, salt, herbs, olive oil and baking powder. Slowly add small amounts of water (about 1/2 cup) as needed to get the dough to stick together. Shape the dough into a ball. Moisten your hands frequently with cold water to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Grab the dough in your hands and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Keep your hands moistened and press the dough out into a large flatbread about 1/8-inch thick. Spray the top lightly with olive oil and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then cut into large or small pieces. But if you can't wait, grab off a piece, spread with safe margarine and enjoy!
Pumpkin Amaranth Flatbread Recipe
This flatbread is sweet and almost like a cookie.
Follow the same basic recipe as used for the Amaranth Spinach Flatbread but omit the spinach and herbs. Instead, add in 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 1-1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and 2-4 T. of maple syrup, agave nectar or brown sugar. You might want to experiment with sweetness. I used just 2 T. of agave nectar and it was sweet enough for my taste. Follow all the other directions. I like cutting this bread into small pieces and spreading it with apple butter or sunbutter. Yum! It's also great plain.
Monday, March 17, 2008
You don't have give up high-quality grains with fiber and protein just because you have stomach issues like IBS. For a number of years, I was afraid to try anything except rice because I feared what higher fiber would do to my system. Then I discovered Quinoa (pronounced Keen wa). This ancient grain is one of the best grains for someone with stomach issues like IBS because it's easily digestible and gluten-free but yet high in protein and soluble fiber.
I decided to incorporate quinoa into an Easter dessert which also has antioxidant-rich blueberries and raspberries. The bars are made with quinoa flakes but you also can use gluten-free rolled oats. I've never been able to tolerate oats that are added to a recipe raw but I can handle quinoa. The gluten-free blueberry-raspberry streusel bars were so delicious that they even got rave reviews from my gluten-eating, non-stomach issue family and friends.
Easter Gluten-free Blueberry-Raspberry Streusel Bars
(Makes 2 dozen bars)
Adapted from a recipe used by the Cooqi, a bakery in St. Paul, Minn.
Gluten-free flour mix: 2 cups rice flour, 1 cup tapioca starch, 1 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
For the bars:
1 2/3 cup quinoa flakes (or 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats and 2/3 cup quinoa flakes)
1 - 1 1/4 cups organic sugar, divided (I'd like to try these next time with brown rice syrup or agave nectar. I would use less than the sugar.)
3/4 tsp. cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil or safflower oil (or butter if you can handle dairy)
2 T. tapioca starch
3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen blueberries, defrosted)
1 1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen, defrosted)
1 T. orange juice concentrate
1-2 tsp. orange zest
egg replacer for 1 egg or 1 organic egg
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with pan spray. In a medium bowl, combine 1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour mix, quinoa flakes (or quinoa/oats mixture), 3/4-1 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and salt.
Mix the vegetable oil into the mixture using a pastry blender or spoon. Divide the mixture in half. Reserve half and evenly press other half into the bottom of your prepared baking pan. Bake 13-15 minutes, until mixture has solidified but not started to turn brown. Remove from the oven to cool.
In a heavy pan, combine 1/4 cup sugar, tapioca starch and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Add the berries, orange juice and zest. Gently stir to coat berries with other ingredients. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until blueberries are soft and raspberries become saucelike.
Remove from the heat and pour over baked crust. Add egg replacer to remaining unbaked crumb mixture, mix until well blended and dough holds together.
Pick up the dough in your hands and crumble it all over the top of the fruit in the pan. Spead the streusel topping around evening with your hands or a fork.
Return pan to oven and bake 30-40 minutes, until fruit appears bubbly and streusel topping is slightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Place the pan in the refrigerator to continue the cooling process. The bars can be a bit crumbly so, if possible, allow the pan of streusel bars to stay in the refrigerator overnight before cutting.
Make the bars a real treat by serving on a plate with vanilla Rice Dream frozen dessert, topped with a spoon of raspberries and a smidge of Wax Orchards raspberry syrup, fruit-juice sweetened.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Recently, I read about a British medical study where they took a group of 120 individuals who had been suffering with IBS for years, in some cases decades. Everything these individuals had done to improve their situation had done little. These individuals were tested for intestinal parasites and yeast, something else as well, but I don't remember. Most of these individuals had traveled or lived in other countries but a few had not. All of their tests came back positive for one or more of the three. When these conditions were addressed, their symptoms were reduced markedly.
After reading about the study, I decided to have the test done. I lived overseas and worked around livestock for quite awhile so it was a possibility. Also, my doctor had mentioned it a few months earlier, but wanted me to try other things first. Well, I am waiting for the results. Hopefully, I will be on to something that will improve my condition. In the meantime, I am enjoying my favorite breakfast for when I'm feeling a little down. You guessed it. It has chocolate in it.
Chocolate/Raspberry Rice Cereal
This cereal is so simple to prepare. It tastes like a dessert for breakfast but yet no sugar is added.
Ingredients for one serving:
1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Rice Hot Cereal
1 cup water
1-2 T. good quality baking and drinking cocoa (I use Droste Holland Cocoa)
1 T. vanilla rice protein powder
1 T. ground flax seed
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
Put all ingredients, except raspberries, in a saucepan. Cover with a lid and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes. Scoop cereal into a bowl and top with raspberries. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Friday, February 29, 2008
Quinoa Sunflower Seed Clusters
(Makes approximately 20 clusters)
These clusters are a healthy alternative to cookies. Two clusters have approximately 320 calories, 11 g. fat, 49 g. carbs, 10 g. protein and 5 g. fiber.
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes (or old-fashioned oatmeal) Note: The quinoa flakes are much more digestible than the oats. Just eat the clusters in moderation.
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (I grind them but you may leave them whole.)
1 cup peeled, drained canned apricots (finely chopped) or replace this with 1 cup chopped dried apricots or whole dried cherries
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (Walnuts, pistachios, almonds, cashews work well.)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup or honey (Avoid honey if you have IBS.)
2 T. safflower, sunflower or other vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Egg replacer for two eggs plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten (or use equivalent egg whites)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the quinoa, return to a boil, cover and reduce the heat. Cook at low heat until the quinoa is cooked or about 15 minutes. For those with normal stomachs, the quinoa should be slightly undercooked or about 12 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large, rimmed cookie sheet. Bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until the quinoa is pale golden, about 30-35 minutes. Let cook in a large bowl.
Spread the quinoa flakes or oats on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the flakes or oats to the cooked quinoa. Spread the sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes. If grinding the seeds, allow to cook before placing in a coffee grinder. Add the seeds to quinoa mixture and allow to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Toss the apricots (dried or not dried), optional nuts, sugar and salt with the quinoa mixture. Beat the agave nectar, maple syrup or honey, vegetable oil, and vanilla with egg replacer or eggs. Stir into the quinoa mixture.
Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, lightly spray with pan spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto sheet for each cluster or use an ice cream scoop. Space the clusters about 3 inches apart. Flatten to 1/4-inch thickness. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes. Note: If you are using egg replacer, you may need to leave the clusters in the oven slightly longer. When done, remove from the oven and let cool. The clusters store well for several days in the refrigerator. Freeze extras.