Saturday, December 26, 2009
I survived Christmas without succumbing to temptation and going off my low-carb diet. Now, it's on to phase 2--New Year's. The holidays truly are a difficult time for anyone who is watching what they eat. Avoiding carbs, as well as certain food allergens, just adds new layers to the difficulty level. My approach is to always take food with me. That way I won't be tempted to stray from my eating plan. It's not as much fun but at least, it keeps me well as I continue to battle my problem with candida.
I don't expect to start a new holiday trend but healthy foods, low in carbs, can actually be delicious. For Christmas breakfast, I enjoyed some yummy Pumpkin-garbanzo bean flour pancakes. These gluten-free, egg-free pancakes can be eaten any morning but make an extra special breakfast for Christmas or New Year's. They also are super easy because you can bake them in the oven all at once and use less oil.
Pumpkin-Garbanzo Bean Flour Pancakes
(makes 8 medium-sized pancakes)
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup pumpkin puree (You can use canned.)
2 T. canola or other healthy oil
In place of 1 egg: 1 T. flax mixed with 3 T. water to form a slurry
1/4 cup ground flax meal
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. gluten-free baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1-1 1/2 cups water
Extra pumpkin puree
Pure stevia powder
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Add the pumpkin puree, oil and egg or egg replacer of your choice. At this point, the mixture will be thick. Begin adding water to thin the mixture to a consistency somewhere between pancake and muffin batter. I used about 1 1/2 cups. The batter will still be thicker than regular pancake batter because the garbanzo bean flour absorbs water. Set aside.
Spray a large cookie sheet with pan spray. A little oil may be placed on the pan if desired. Place the pan in the oven for a few minutes to heat the oil. Once heated, spoon the batter with a ladle or large spoon onto the pan. Leave a little room between pancakes because they will spread out slightly.
Bake the pancakes for about 10 minutes per side. Serve hot with a topping of pumpkin puree mixed with stevia powder to desired sweetness. Sprinkle a few toasted pumpkin seeds on top.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
It suddenly became a challenge for me to come up with a cookie that I could eat and not go off the anti-candida diet. I decided to adapt a recipe for quinoa sunflower seed clusters that I posted in February, 2008. My ACD-friendly version turned out tasty and satisfied my desire for a cookie. The clusters are a healthy alternative to cookies, contain lots of protein, fiber, whole grains and good fats but they still have carbs. Which means I need to eat just one.
Their main drawback is that they are a bit crumbly but I thought, what the heck, I can use the crumbs for a topping on carob tofu pudding. The crumbly aspect could probably be solved by using eggs, which I am allergic to, or by replacing canola oil with coconut oil or using more tahini in the recipe. I will try using more tahini next time. Here's the recipe:
ACD-friendly Quinoa Sunflower Seed Clusters
3/4 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 T. chia seeds
1/8 cup stevia powder (I used SweetLeaf)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 T. canola oil
2 T. tahini butter
Egg replacer for 3 eggs made by mixing 3 T. ground flax with 9 T. water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the quinoa. Then, transfer the quinoa to a large, rimmed cookie sheet. Bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until the quinoa is toasted and golden, about 30-35 minutes. Place in a bowl to cool.
Spread the quinoa flakes on a baking sheet. Toast for about 5 minutes in the oven. Watch carefully because the quinoa flakes toast quickly. Add the flakes to the bowl with the cooked quinoa.
Toast the sunflower and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet for about 5-7 minutes. Add the seeds to the bowl with the quinoa mixture.
Mix in the other ingredients, including the flax and water. Spray several large cookie sheets with pan spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup of batter onto the sheet for each cluster. Flatten slightly. Bake, rotating, sheets halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes.
Allow the clusters to cool completely before transferring to a storage container. Remember they are a bit fragile compared to regular cookies. You might try using more tahini or coconut oil as mentioned earlier to solve the crumbly problem. They are yummy especially for those of us who need ACD-friendly treats. If you don't have a candida problem, refer to the original recipe at http://catsinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2008/02/quinoa-sunflower-seed-clusters.html
Saturday, December 12, 2009
But I must ignore them because I am still battling candida. I've come a long way in six months but every time I start thinking I can have a few extra carbs, my symptoms start returning.
I also thought I could indulge in a little caffeine but then, I don't know how to indulge just a little. Once I opened the caffeine door, I just wanted some every day. Candida definitely thrives on caffeine. At least, so it seems based on what happens to me every time I get started drinking hot drinks with caffeine.
Anyhow, a plate of spahetti squash seemed like a sort of compromise today: some carbs, but not too much. I have a plentiful supply of spaghetti squash that I grew in my garden this summer. I have been holding off eating them because they fall into the winter squash category which should be added sparingly to your anti-candida diet. I also have basil growing indoors in my AeroGrow, a spacesaver hydroponic garden. Here's the recipe.
Spaghetti Squash with Fresh Basil
1 small spaghetti squash
1 tsp. olive oil
2-3 T. fresh basil, finely chopped. Or use other fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, oregano.
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place cut side down in a baking dish. Add some water to the bottom of the pan and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Remove the squash from the oven, uncover and allow to cool slightly. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Use a fork to pull out the squash strands and place in a bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the squash, herbs, salt and pepper. Toss and heat. Serve as a side dish.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
I think I have to admit that all my years of antibiotics, sugar-free sweeteners, diet pop and coffee addiction have made me an extreme candida case. I believe I am stuck with the ACD way of eating for the long haul.
Many of my symptoms have completely disappeared or at least abated since I began the candida diet. I am able to eat soy and many more vegetables than I could before. However, some things remain the same. My stomach continues to be a mystery with flare-ups for no apparent reasons. (Okay, I confess; mostly because of eating too many fats.) I still avoid gluten, eggs, nuts and dairy. I still have animals in my kitchen; my orange Dennis the Menace, Pumpkin, and Kona, my canine floor rug. Yes, she is always in the way, sprawled out on the floor, in the doorways, wherever I am.
Winter is the most challenging time for me as I crave carbs more than ever. That's right. I still crave carbs/sugar, even after all this time. I doubt if that will ever change. I'm just hardwired for sugar. I've tried to satisfy my cravings with fats, like pumpkin butter, sunbutter, soybutter, tahini, coconut butter and black tahini, but it's just not the same. Some people are fat-aholics and I'm a self-confessed carb-aholic. The only thing I've gotten from the fats is digestive troubles.
This coming week I'm going to once again reintroduce some whole grains into my diet. I'm really looking forward to a hot steaming bowl of gluten-free oatmeal. I've also discovered that collard leaves make great replacements for tortillas or pita breads for wraps. Until I made this discovery, I used to buy collard and the poor collard would end up pining away in the fridge. I'd look at the stuff and say, "What am I supposed to do with it?" Now, I know: make collard leaf shrimp roll-ups.
Shrimp Roll-ups in Collard Leaves
Large collard leaves with stems removed
1 tsp. grapeola or canola oil
Medium peeled shrimp, halved (about 10-12) Note: I get the precooked kind.
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 small green cabbage, shredded
2 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger root, peeled and minced
2 green onions, chopped
1 tsp. Bragg's amino acids
Chop and shred the veggies and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Add the veggies and saute until tender crisp. Add the shrimp and cook until heated. Toss in the chopped green onions. Drizzle with Bragg's amino acids.
To make the roll-ups, trim the collard leaves off their stems. Scoot the shrimp-veggie mixture off to one side in the skillet. Drop in a few collard leaves and heat slightly. Place the appropriate amount of shrimp-veggie mixture on each one and roll them up. Serve with a salad for lunch or dinner.
Note: Collard leaves also can be used to make great hummus roll-ups. Do you have some other ideas? Please post a comment and share.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Warning: glass pans can be hazardous to your health. I hope this doesn't take your appetite away but yes, that's a picture of my foot about a week after developing blood poisoning from a wound inflicted by an exploding Pyrex glass pan. This picture shows my foot on the recovering end of the injury. You can use your imagination to picture how it looked seven days earlier. I was unable to walk, instead I just hobbled from chair to chair, which couldn't be far apart or I was writhing in pain.
You can't keep me from cooking though. Just don't ask me to use glass pans. This week everything curry seemed to go down well. Probably all those spices helped settle my stomach. My favorite was Thai Curry Tofu with Vegetables.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I guess I should be more positive because the antibiotics have knocked out the blood poisoning I had. But can you believe, this all happened because of cooking accident? I posted awhile back (10/24/09 ) about my run in with an exploding Pyrex baking pan. Glass shards shot everywhere including into my foot which produced a deep laceration.
Four weeks after the accident, my foot appeared to be pretty much healed when suddenly it swelled up and turned a deep purplish red around the area of the injury. Ice did nothing to stop the swelling, redness and of course, the pain. I was barely hobbling when I went to see the doctor the next day. The doctor seemed perplexed but the diagnosis was blood poisoning and the treatment was antibiotics. I didn't want to hear those words but once the red started going up my leg, I was glad I was taking antibiotics.
I decided to return to my anti-candida diet basics and give the candida absolutely nothing to thrive on while the antibiotics were busy killing off all my good bacteria. That might give me half a chance of not getting another candida overgrowth.
I have been grumbling all week about my foot but also about being reduced to just vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats once again. My complaining is mainly because I had finally gotten to the point on the anti-candida diet where I could loosen up a bit. In fact, last week, I wrote that my doctor had freed me from some the constraints of the ACD eating plan and told me to follow a low-glycemic diet.
Okay, I'm not going to complain anymore because six days after this all started I can finally walk on my foot again with minimal pain. There is no more swelling and redness, I can even wear a loose shoe for awhile.
I haven't really cooked anything yummy or delicious this week because I've mainly been eating salads with chicken or tofu sprinkled on top. I'm wishing I could cook up some Pumpkin-Tofu Stoup which I had the week before this all happened. Pumpkin, while shocked with beta-carotene and other great nutrients, is too high in carbs for me right now. I guess I will just drool as I post the recipe.
Pumpkin-Tofu Stoup (makes 2-3 generous servings)
2 T. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. curry powder
1 1/2 cups peeled, cubed seeded pumpkin (I have several small pumpkins that I harvested from my garden that are just the right size.)
Optional: 1 zucchini and 1 red pepper diced
2 cups unsweetened, light coconut milk
1 pkg. extra firm tofu, cubed
1 T. Thai red curry paste (Use less if you can't take the heat.)
1 T. lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro for garnish
In a large skillet or pot, saute in the oil the onion, garlic and ginger. Add the curry powder, Thai red curry paste, and pumpkin. Saute for several minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add some vegetable broth or water if needed.
Add the tofu and optional zucchini and red pepper. Simmer uncovered for another 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro leaves. I'll be thinking of you while your enjoying this delicious stoup and wishing I were joining you.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I guess I should explain that I only recently indulged in these foods on a limited basis (once a month) but only after I was retested for candida and found it was no longer a problem. My health care practitioner told me I need to continue to follow a low-glycemic diet but not necessarily avoid all fermented foods. I continue to avoid fermented foods, such as vinegar and wines, because I don't want the candida overgrowth to come back.
I would only recommend tempeh or miso if your health care practioner okays it which mine did. That lead me to indulge in Miso-Veggie-Tofu Stew. I also used just one tablespoon of brown rice miso for four servings of soup. It's very tasty but I only would recommend it if you don't have a candida problem or if you've been cleared by your doctor.
(makes 4 servings)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I decided to take action to head off the cravings and came up with a most delicious little treat that actually has healthy ingredients. I called it my "No Denying Yourself Halloween Treat, AKA soy nut-carob fudge." Hey, I got to pick the name since the treat was my impromptu creation. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture. NO, not because I was woofing them down so fast I couldn't stop to grab a camera. I actually have most of the treats left, tucked away in the freezer, in reserve for another "special" occasion. The reason I don't have a picture is my husband absconded with our digital camera for an entire week while he was on a business trip. Now, that he has returned I can start snapping pictures again. In the meantime, I'll fill you in on my creation's recipe as well as another more everyday recipe.
Soy Nut-Carob Fudge
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup unsweetened soy nut butter
2 T. carob powder
4 T. soy nuts
Melt coconut oil and soy nut butter in the microwave. Stir in the carob powder. Go ahead it's okay to lick the spoon because coconut oil is healthy for you. And it tastes sweet without adding any sweetener. Add in the soy nuts and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a small pan (not glass if you read my previous post about shattering glass pans). I used a 9 X 9-inch square pan and it was too big. You want your pieces to be fairly thick to aid in cutting them. Mine were too thin because of the pan's size.
Put the pan with its contents into the refrigerator or freezer to harden the fudge. Once the fudge is well hardened you can cut it into whatever size pieces you want. All I can say is it was delish! I had to limit myself to just two small pieces because coconut oil is high in saturated fat which is a problem for me as I have no gallbladder. I plan to wait a day and then dive in for another piece. Now I have a picture of the soy nut-carob fudge. As you can see, the pieces are not exactly beautiful to behold because I used a pan that was too big and it turned out too thin. When I make this again, I will use coconut butter instead of coconut oil which will make it smoother and more creamy.
Swiss Chard with Edaname (This recipe also qualifies as a Halloween recipe because it contains toasted pumpkin seeds.)
One bunch Swiss chard washed and chopped (separate the stalks and leafy pieces into two piles)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup frozen shelled edaname (thaw them out by rinsing them with warm water)
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 T. pumpkin seeds (toast them in a hot skillet
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add in the garlic and saute. Toss in the chopped Swiss chard stalks only. Continue sauteeing until the stalks are beginning to soften. Next in are the edaname. Continue sauteeing until the edaname is warm. Lastly, put in the leaves of the chard and continue cooking until leaves are wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds just before serving.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Recently, I purchased a whole chicken from a local grower who raises free-range poultry. It was pretty expensive but I wanted to support a local farmer. About two weeks ago, I decided to roast the bird in the oven and serve a special meal for my husband, son and his friends who had come over to do some major car work for us for free.
The meal was about done when I removed the chicken from the oven to give it one last check. I had been roasting the chicken in a large glass Pyrex pan. To my amazement, the pan exploded when I removed it from the oven and placed it on top of the stove. Shards of glass flew everywhere including one into the side of my foot. At first, I thought my foot was burned until I looked down and saw a pool of blood on the floor. This deep laceration probably needed stitches but I didn't want to go to the emergency room on a weekend night when others with all kind of cold and flu germs were waiting to be seen. I decided to bandage it up, keep it elevated and check on getting a tetanus shot the next day when I already had a doctor's appointment.
The next day I was given a tetanus shot, although I'm not sure why as the injury did not involve metal or dirt. I got no explanation other than I needed one. I'd had many tetanus shots before so I wasn't concerned about it or about the fact that they gave me no information on possible side effects. Within hours, I started developing a hot, red rash all over my legs, along with terrible headache and aches all over my body. I would have assumed it was the flu if it hadn't been for the rash. I developed a similar rash and hives another time when I had a bad reaction to taking a medication.
The seemingly innocuous tetanus shot left me sick for about five days. That's when I decided to never cook anything in a glass Pyrex pan again. I also checked on the internet and found that exploding Pyrex pans were quite common. I was fortunate that the shard of glass had not hit me in a more vital area.
After this experience, it was "obvious" that eating meat was hazardous to one's health, and I concluded that vegan and vegetarian meals were safer to prepare. But not entirely so as I found out when I tried to bake some extra firm tofu slices in the oven. I sprayed the slices with pan spray. After they had been baking for awhile, the entire house began to fill up with smoke from the oven. Some of the smoke was from the pan spray and some from the residue left by the chicken in the exploding Pyrex pan. All the windows had to be opened on a fairly cold day to get rid of the smoke which made my eyes and chest burn. I guess this was a message it was time to clean the oven. Another clean-up job thanks to Pyrex.
Cooking on top of the stove now seemed like the safest bet. I decided to whip up some Kale-Tofu Salad. The inspiration for this dish came from my recent trip to northern Idaho and Washington and British Columbia. A co-op that I stopped in had a deli counter with a delicious-looking kale-cabbage-tofu salad. Unfortunately, I had to pass on it because it had mayo and cashews on it. Here's my own recipe:
One bunch of kale, washed, trimmed and chopped
1/2 small red or green cabbage, chopped
1 block of extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes
2 T. tahini
1-2 T. water
1 tsp. Bragg's amino acids
4 T. sunflower seeds
Make a dressing by combining the tahini and Bragg's. Gradually, add water to thin the mixture out a bit. You want it to be creamy but pourable. Place the kale and cabbage in a large bowl.
Use half the tahini dressing mixture to toss with the tofu cubes in a separate bowl. Heat a pan and stir fry the tofu until warm. Add the tofu to the bowl with kale and cabbage, and toss with the remaining tahini dressing to coat all the ingredients. Add the finishing touch by mixing in the sunflower seeds. Now, you're ready to eat minus any exploding pans or smoky ovens.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Biking 60-70 miles a day up and over numerous hills (some with seven to eight percent grades) creates an enormous drain on your glycogen reserves. I wanted to feast on carbohydrates of all kinds but yet was determined to stay on a low-glycemic diet. This was especially difficult when watching my husband (who pursues a diet at the extreme opposite of ACD) eat every carb in sight, including brownies, cookies, ice cream. You name it. He ate it.
I did learn a lot about how to get ACD foods even while traveling and eating out frequently. My first lesson was that a salad in a restaurant is light-years away from a salad made at home. Apparently, few people order salads in restaurants and if they do, they don't want a man-sized salad. The result is you are lucky to get one cup of greens and a sprinkling of a few token veggies on top when ordering a salad. This was true not only in the U.S.-portion of our trip but also in British Columbia.
These puny "salads" also fetched a substantial price. Most of the salads I ordered were $8-$12 for next to nothing in the way of ingredients (usually chicken, greens, a few veggies). One time we even ate in a vegan/vegetarian restaurant and my salad was still itsy-bitsy. I remember when you actually could make a meal out of a salad. My husband on the other hand got enough to feed two or three people in the form of burgers, fries, potato salad, cole slaw, Philly cheesesteak, desserts, rolls (not all at the same meal but a lot) for less than what I paid.
After going away from a few restaurants still famished, I finally got sauvy on how to order. I would ask to trade all the sides that came with a piece of chicken or salmon for a giant bucket of salad, served with olive oil and lemon. It worked. I actually got pretty filled up. Sometimes, I was fortunate enough to find an eatery with an all-you-can-eat salad bar that actually had veggies not just mayonaise-laden foods, masquerading as salads.
I shopped in markets along the way to fill in the gaps in my diet not filled by the restaurant offerings which are sadly mostly high in refined carbs and not-so-lean protein. At markets, I would stock up on fresh veggies, low-glycemic fruit (berries), raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds, hummus, garbanzo or pinto beans, and tofu to eat for snacks. I also found frozen brown rice that I could thaw out for breakfast and unsweetened soy milk. I started the trip with a supply of low-carb crackers I made, quinoa, garbanzo bean flour, raw tortillas, liquid stevia, chia seed (I added it to soy milk with liquid stevia to make a treat) and olive oil to supplement my meals here and there.
Most motels we stayed in had a microwave and mini-fridge so that I could cook my breakfast in the room. Two places where we spent the night had a kitchenette. I discovered it is possible to make quinoa and garbanzo-bean flatbread in a microwave. It wasn't half-bad.
I actually stayed pretty well nourished but did find myself hungering for certain foods by the time I returned home. My stomach behaved itself quite well on the trip despite all the fresh veggies I consumed.
Another discovery I made was that for me, it's actually easier to behave myself on a trip than at home. That discovery inspired me to follow my trip diet as much as possible at home which means I would skip sneaking carob-coconut balls and extra helpings of garbanzo bean flatbread. I would focus on eating more raw veggies and vegetarian meals. With that in mind, I cooked up some Seaweed Noodle and Veggie Saute.
1 cup seaweed noodles (come pre-packaged and ready to heat)
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium red onion, cut in half-moon slices or wedges
1 medium carrot, cut in matchsticks
1 medium zucchini, cut in matchsticks
1/2 small green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 T. Bragg's Amino Acids (like soy sauce but not fermented)
1 T. toasted sesame oil
Use a large skillet to heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute. Add the carrots and zucchini and saute. Add the cabbage and Bragg's and saute until all the veggies are softened. Add the rinsed seaweed noodles and cook to heat. Remove from the heat and toss in the sesame oil. Serve warm with chopsticks for a bit of Asian flare. Makes 2-3 servings.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Finding ways to use up my baby tomato crop is no problem for me. I enjoy them on salads (now that I can eat salads again) and in stir-fries, kabobs, and with grilled veggies. I seldom eat pizza or anything like it because I am on the anti-candida diet (ACD) to remove excess fungus from my body, and restore the balance of good and bad bacteria.
But I couldn't resist trying my little tomatoes on a gluten-free tomato tart, just once during the tomato season. It was yummy and scrumptious but the crust had a light texture from the addition of baking powder and soda which was something different for me. I have been mainly eating, on occasion, garbanzo bean breads with no soda or baking powder added. Therefore, this tart was a real treat!
Gluten-free Tomato Tart
3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup ground flax
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 T. olive oil
2 T. tahini butter
1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 pkg. Silken tofu
1 T. olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
sea salt to taste
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
1-2 cups grape, pear and cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Optional: parmessan, feta or goat cheese (Not for me on the ACD diet.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with pan spray.
In a large bowl, combine the garbanzo bean and rice flour. (Note: you can change the ratio of rice to bean flour. More rice flour will give the crust more of a light, airy texture.) Add the flax seeds, baking powder and soda, and salt. Blend and set aside.
In a food processor, blend the tahini, olive oil and soy milk. Pour into the larger bowl with the flours and stir to blend.
Using wet hands, press the dough into a rectangle or best approximation, about 12 X 7 inches. directly onto the cookie sheet. Wet the hands again if necessary. Ridge the edges of the dough with your fingers. Bake the dough for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, blend in your food processor, the Silken tofu, olive oil, garlic clove and salt. Remove the crust from the oven and spread the tofu sauce evenly over the crust. Arrange the basil leaves and tomatoes on top of the sauce. Put the tart back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or so. The time may be longer if you decide to play with the ratio of flours. Basically, the more rice flour you add, the longer the baking time. Remove from the oven when the tart is just getting slightly crispy.
Cut into about eight pieces. Serve alongside a nice garden veggie salad.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The fact that we have provided organic produce to families in need makes me feel especially good. I recently read an article in the Aug. 31 issue of Time magazine, "America's Food Crisis and How to Fix It." The article focused on U.S. farming practices where produce is grown with tons of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, and meat animals are dosed with antibiotics and growth hormones. The goal of the article was to get us thinking about changing the way our country grows and consumes food because right now, we are on track to scarier germs (from antibiotic overuse in meat animals), eroded farmland and higher health costs.
After reading that article, I felt even better about the organic produce our garden has yielded. It also got me thinking about the meat I eat. I've always opted for conventionally grown meat because of the high cost of organic. But after reading the article, I realized that all needed to change. I don't eat that much meat, mainly fish with chicken and turkey sprinkled in here and there. So, I decided it wouldn't break the bank to eat organic poultry. Actually, it might save me money in the long run if I stay healthier because of it.
At the same time, I decided to add more vegetarian meals to my diet. One of my new favorites is curried tempeh, pictured below. It makes a great dinner or anytime meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) for someone like me on an eating plan where carbs are kept to a minimum. It's also a great way to use up some of my garden produce (herbs, tomatoes, onions, zucchini). Note: I only recently added tempeh back into my diet because I was rechecked for candida and it was at a normal level again. Even so, I only eat tempeh occasionally. Tempeh is a fermented food and should normally be avoided by those on an ACD diet unless they have been cleared by their doctor. At least as far as I know, that is the case.
Curried Tempeh (2 servings)
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
I've made it through Phase 1 and part of Phase 2 of the Anti-Candida Diet (ADA)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Anyone with digestive issues might want to give them a try. They contain 90 percent soluble fiber which aids in digestion. I've had a slow digestive system for many years but since I started eating chia seeds, my stomach actually empties instead of food hanging around for hours and hours.
Some other benefits: the seeds provide energy, improve hydration, lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease, stabilize blood sugar, and provide the daily requirement for fiber and vitamins.
Another advantage is the seeds form a gel when added to water and are allowed to sit for 30 minutes. This property of the seeds provides all kinds of culinary opportunities because you can use them to thicken liquids or batters, and they really have no taste of their own. You can sprinkle them on cereal, oatmeal, salads, smoothies or yogurt, or mix them in muffin or other baked recipes.
My favorite recipe for chia seeds is chia seed pudding, which is basically like tapioca pudding with chia seeds doing the thickening. You can make the basic chia seed pudding or get fancy and try a parfait, pictured below, or add shredded coconut, whipped topping or fresh fruit. It's all good, even for someone on the anti-candida diet, like myself. I just use liquid, alcohol-free stevia as a sweetener.
2 T. chia seeds
1/3 to 1/2 cup liquid of your choice: plain or flavored soy, rice, hemp or other milk
1-2 tsp. agave nectar or 5-7 drops of stevia liquid
Options: add 2 tsp. carob powder or cocoa powder, pumpkin puree.
Directions:Place the chia seeds in a container and add the liquid. Stir well to submerge most of the seeds. Allow to sit 20-30 minutes but continue stirring every 5-10 minutes. Stir again before eating.
Tips: You can mix up the chia and liquid and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator. I also found that heating your liquid before adding the chia speeds up the thickening process.
To make a parfait: prepare vanilla chia seed pudding, and carob or chocolate chia seed pudding and layer. Sprinkle shredded unsweetened coconut between layers. Ch-ch-chialicious!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
- Anything containing sugar;
- Simple carbohydrates, such as flour, cakes, cookies, breads, etc.;
- Foods that contain mold or fungus, such as yeast, mushrooms, peanuts, cashews, cheese;
- The most common food allergens, such as dairy, eggs, wheat, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts;
- Foods that are fermented (alcohol, vinegars, all condiments including ketchup, mustard, soy sauce);
- Anything artificial, processed, containing chemicals or additives, imitation or artificial seasonings flavorings and colorings;
- Soda pop, fruit juice, pre-sweetened drinks, coffee, tea (except herbal teas).
What's left to eat, you are probably wondering? Actually, there are quite a few healthy, tasty choices including:
- All vegetables except starchy ones (winter squash, and heaven forbid, no corn. It's not really a vegetable anyhow);
- Whole, gluten-free grains (brown rice, quinoa, amaranth);
- Beans and legumes;
- Some nuts and most seeds;
- Natural, cold-pressed oils, such as olive oil;
- Lemon and lime juice;
- Stevia (a natural herbal sweetener that does not affect blood sugar levels as long as it's alcohol-free);
- Unsweetened alternative dairy beverages, such as soy milk;
- Some fruit that has a low-glycemic index such as berries and cantaloupe.
There are quite a few slightly different versions of the ACD eating plan. One suggests you follow a rotation diet, where you never eat a particular food more than once every four days. It's a bit impractical, especially where you've already cut out a number of foods. However, I continue to try to rotate grains, proteins and some veggies but I'll admit not very faithfully, especially during the gardening season where certain ones are in profusion.
I do love fresh vegetables (zucchini and green beans) and fresh herbs (basil), and all are permitted on the ACD plan. Both also happen to be in abundance in my garden right now. And fresh herb nut that I am, I also have basil growing in my indoor aero-grow garden, pictured above.
Roasting veggies with basil or other herbs is something simple and delicious I enjoy making. The roasting process imparts a completely different flavor to veggies for a change of pace from steaming.
Sheree's Recipe for Roasted Veggies
- 1 pound of fresh veggies, such as zucchini, peppers, green beans, yellow squash, asparagus
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil or other herbs
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 T. olive oil
- pan spray
- Preheat the broiler or outdoor grill;
- Spray several cookie sheets with pan spray;
- Peel and chop veggies and herbs as desired;
- Place veggies in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil;
- Spread veggies on pans and sprinkle with chopped herbs and garlic;
- Place in the oven or grill for 5+ minutes until veggies are tender crisp.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
I recently invested in a new food processor, and I decided to go for the kingsize model. I learned the hard way that a small food processor really doesn't save you much time when you constantly need to be re-loading it.
A small one also is much noisier because it's working harder to get the job done. In the past, I always had to warn household members that I was about to launch the noise machine because otherwise, it could be quite startling. Even my feline pal, Pumpkin, would run for cover when I turned it on. Now, as you can see by the photo, above, Pumpkin could care less about my activities in the kitchen.
Fresh salsa was a snap with my new purchase, pictured left. Then, I decided to venture into making veggie burgers which has always been a time-consuming chore with my petite food processor. I picked a ton of fresh produce from my garden and decided to put the new machine to the test. Not counting the time taken to pick and wash the produce, it took me about 15 minutes to have the veggie burgers ready for the oven. In the past, I could plan on at least 45 minutes prep time.
My blog has taken a bit of a shift since I went from IBS/gluten-free/rotation diet to low carb/candida cleanse diet. I haven't been sharing many "carbilicious" recipes, although I continue to follow a gluten, dairy-free plan. But these veggie burgers are great because they will fit with any of these diets. Check out the recipe and directions below.
Fast Veggie Burgers
1 cup cooked, drained beans ( I used pinto beans made from scratch but canned ones such as garbanzo, black or white beans will work.)
2 cups chopped veggies ( I used carrots, celery, red and green bell peppers, 2 medium zuchinis.)
1 small red onion, cut into chunks
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 T. raw pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (no need to chop)
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 tsp. each dried tarragon and dill
1/2 tsp. salt and black pepper
1 tsp. ground flax seeds
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour (You also can use any other mild-flavored gluten-free flour.)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pan with nonstick spray.
Throw everything except the flour in the food processor. (Previously, I had to chop the ingredients in batches.) Blend the ingredients until almost smooth. (This part was so cool especially working with such a large amount of ingredients.) Begin adding the flour and pulsing to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add a little more flour. (I was seriously impressed by how easily everything was mixed.)
Shape the mixture into about 12 large burgers and place on the sprayed cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, flip them and continue baking another 10 minutes until lightly browned on the other side. Extra burgers can be freezed.
Serve on gluten-free buns or flatbread or roll into a tortilla f you are not eating low carb. Or roll into a large lettuce leaf for low carbers. Try putting a little Thai red or green curry paste on top for a really zingy veggie burger.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Cacao nibs are absolutely amazing. They have a nutty taste, almost like coffee beans, and are packed with lots of nutritional benefits and antioxidants, and are low in carbs, and high in fiber and protein. Nibs are actually bits of cacao beans before processing. It doesn't take many to satisfy your taste which is a good thing since they have approximately 160 calories per one ounce and cost about $8 per pound when bought in bulk.
Another way to get your chocolate fix is with chocolate liquid stevia. You can add it to soy milk to create chocolate drinks or to silken tofu to make the delicious pudding pictured below.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
2 cups of cooked brown rice, cooled
1/2 T. olive oil
4-5 green onion stalks, chopped
1 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onions and seeds and cook until seeds are lightly browned.
Then stir in cooked, cooled rice. Stir fry all until toasty and warm. Makes a delicious side dish or even the centerpiece of breakfast.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
This kind of painful contraction in the back of your leg that results from over exertion and loss of potassium recently awakened me from a deep sleep. It wouldn't settle down easily so I was forced to get up, walk around and massage my leg before I could return to bed and get back to sleep.
The same scenario repeated itself for several nights in a row before it dawned on me what the problem was. I wasn't consuming enough foods with potassium. But how could I up my potassium if I couldn't eat foods like bananas and other types of fruit? That's when I decided to do some research. I discovered there are tons of other foods besides bananas that are high in potassium, including lots of veggies, fish and meat. Some high potassium foods that mesh with my current low-carb diet include: Swiss chard, beet greens, spinach, tomatoes, cantaloupe, salmon, cod, turkey, soybeans, lentils and white beans.
More than half of the foods on that list are vegetables, naturally low in carbohydrates but yet high in potassium. It occurred to me that I had a potassium gold mine at my fingertips---our community garden, pictured above. Our lush veggie patch has been churning out cucumbers and zucchinis at 300 plus per week as well as beet greens and chard so far. Most of the pickings have been going to the Salvation Army to help those in need. Soon there will be cantaloupe, tomatoes and green beans, all good sources of potassium.
My potassium problems were solved. All I had to do was incorporate more of the good stuff into my cooking. I was in the mood for a fish taco with cole slaw. How could I pump up the veggies and get more potassium? I came up with my super-duper potassium cole slaw.
Super-Duper Potassium Cole Slaw
1/2 head each of green and red cabbage, chopped
3 unpeeled zucchinis shredded
2 cups broccoli slaw
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup silken tofu
salt and pepper
2 tsp. lemon juice
1-2 drops liquid stevia
4 pieces of grilled cod, rubbed with spicy rub of garlic powder, chili powder,dry cilantro, salt and pepper
Prepare the veggies for the cole slaw. Place in a large bowl. Mix up the dressing, including tofu, lemon juice, salt and pepper, stevia drops, in a measuring cup. Pour over the veggies and mix thoroughly. Place the slaw in the refrigerator to chill.
Meantime, prepare the grilled cod. Rub with your favorite spices. I like garlic powder, chili powder, dry cilantro, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and grill under the broiler or on the barbecue.
Serve the cod on a bed of slaw (with or without a taco shell or tortilla) and soak up a bounty of good taste and potassium.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
With that in mind, I thought why not build a meal around two foods, alfalfa sprouts and cucumbers, that had been on my "no way" list prior to going on the warpath against candida. I came up with the Mediterranean sandwich with two versions, low carb and lower carb. The first, pictured above, is a gluten-free panini made with garbanzo bean flatbread and a whitefish salad. The second, below, is the same thing minus the flatbread with lettuce leaves in its place. The recipes for the fish filling and mock garlic aioli needed for the filling are below.
Mediterranean Panini Sandwich with or without gluten-free bread
2 cooked whitefish filets or 1 can of water-packed tuna
1/3 cup chopped artichoke hearts (canned, water-packed)
1 T. chopped fresh chives or basil
2-3 T. mock garlic aioli (recipe below)
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
garbanzo bean flatbread (recipe at: http://catsinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2009/04/garbanzo-bean-flour-flatbread.html ) or large lettuce leaves
red or green pepper slices (optional)
For garlic aioli:
Blend in food processor: 1 package silken tofu with 4-6 cloves of fresh garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup olive oil or canola oil, 2 T. lemon juice, 1 tsp. mustard powder
Mix fish (either cooked and cooled whitefish or drained tuna), artichoke hearts, chives or basil, garlic aioli, salt and pepper. Spread fish mixture on one piece of either garbanzo bean flatbread or lettuce leaves. Top with cucumbers, sprouts, pepper slices. Top with another piece of flatbread and heat. Or roll over your lettuce leaf and chow down.