Friday, November 28, 2008

Chocolate-dipped frozen pears

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving. I try not to overindulge at Thanksgiving or other holidays because I know what that will do to my stomach. I usually limit my menu to just a few items rather than going for the full spread as many people do. It's still a Thanksgiving feast with roasted turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, roasted winter veggies, a dab of homemade cranberry sauce and a pumpkin-tofu custard. There really aren't that many leftovers other than turkey because I don't make that much. That's my trick to keeping my stomach happy and keeping the weight off.

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

Yummy, sticky lemon chicken

I've discovered there may be some link between fewer hours of daylight per day and increased IBS/stomach problems during the fall/winter months. Each year, as the amount of daylight diminishes, my stomach problems increase. And in the spring to summer, as daylight increases, the stomach problems diminish.

This time of year, it's not because of inactivity because I try to keep my physical activity as constant as possible. I also eat exactly the same way. So the only difference is daylight.

This has perplexed me for years. But last winter, I started taking Vitamin D and although I didn't see immediate results, I definitely saw an improvement. This year, I'm continuing the Vitamin D and now experimenting with a light box. I've been working up to two hours a day around the old light box. So far, it's not a miracle cure but I feel better. I'll see how it goes and keep posting.

In the meantime, here's an unbelievably yummy recipe to try. It's got a lot of lemon so be careful if you're sensitive to lemon/citrus. I am a little because citrus stuff can make my mouth break out if I eat it too often. But "Yummy, Sticky Lemon Chicken" is one of those once-every-so-often indulgences.

Yummy, Sticky Lemon Chicken

Serves 3-4


2 chicken breasts halved (or a combination of thighs, chicken breasts to equal four pieces of chicken)

Sea salt and black pepper

2 T. olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (remove leaves)

1 T. sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 T. gluten-free soy sauce

1-2 T. Wax Orchards Fruit Sweet (made totally from fruit concentrate; just as sweet and lower in calories) or Agave Nectar (You also can use honey.)

1 lemon, thinly sliced

Fresh Italian parsley chopped ((about 1/2 cup)


Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Brown the chicken with the garlic and thyme for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add the wine vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and sweetener of choice and shake the pan to mix.

Pour in some hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and sprinkle over chopped parsley. Serve with steamed brown rice and green beans. And lick your fingers!