Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beet greens and tofu

My poor little beets were too crowded in my garden. It was time to do some thinning this week, and the end result was a giant bag of beet greens with teeny tiny beets. I tried to give away some but there were no takers. Everyone already had their own plethora of beet greens. So what does one do with them? I decided to try a beet green and tofu scramble. It was actually quite delicious and nutritious. The recipe follows.
But first, I want to talk about soy milk versus hemp milk. I love both of them because they are great substitutes for cow's milk which I cannot use. Both are similar in taste, texture and nutrition but soy milk wins in the category of mixing with hot liquids. If you like milk in your tea or coffee, definitely stick with soy. Hemp milk separates every time you add it to a hot beverage which tends to make your drink less appetizing. Fortunately, since I did the candida elimination protocol, I can tolerate soy again. Hemp milk works well in everything else but give me soy milk in my tea any time.
Those who are getting rid of candida, as I am, need to stick to the unsweetened versions of both which makes for a huge savings in calories. Admittedly, the unsweetened versions aren't very tasty by themselves but that's easily fixed with a drop or two of stevia.
Beet Greens and Tofu
Ingredients for one serving:
8-10 beet tops washed and chopped
Two-fifths of a block of firm tofu cut into cubes
2-3 minced cloves of garlic
1 T. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Heat 1-2 tsp. of olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook until softened. Toss in the tofu and stir fry until crispy. Add in the beet greens and cook just until wilted. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle on a little more olive oil.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gluten-free panini sandwich

Candida is one tough hombre to beat but I'm hanging in there. Why? I've seen so many positive improvements in my health, both physical and emotional, since I set out to defeat candida. I have to eat low carb but I can eat so many things that I never would have thought of eating before and with no consequences. I have more energy and look and feel better than I have in years. I feel more positive about my health and the fact that I will continue to get even better.

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: ) or large lettuce leaves

alfalfa sprouts

cucumber slices

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.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garden meatballs with basil

The community garden is going strong. Since the above picture was taken, the zucchini plants have produced baby zucchinis. I'm really excited to sample a little of this and that from the garden. Veggies are my long-lost friends since my stomach got a makeover thanks to a candida cleanse. I'm eating all kinds of veggies, cooked and uncooked. I even came up with a recipe to use veggies in ground turkey meatballs. I call them "Garden Meatballs" because you can use what you have from the garden.
Garden Meatballs with Basil
1 pounds ground turkey
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 large red bell pepper chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
salt, black pepper to taste
2 T. olive oil.
Prepare the veggies and chop finely in a food processor. Add the ground meat, salt, pepper and olive oil and mix. Shape into meatballs. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet and cook the meatballs. Turn them carefully at first.
Serve with pasta and sauce if not eating low-carb as I am because of candida. I served them with roasted veggies which provides another opportunity to use veggies from the garden. Try other veggies from your garden in the meatballs for variety.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Starting a Community Garden and Gluten-free Thai Chicken Roll-Up

A vacant lot and a community with many people in need prompted my husband and I to start a community garden this spring. With the help of neighbors and friends, we've transformed a half-acre piece of ground that had been a weedy eyesore for years into a potential bounty of produce for the community.

It all began with a telephone call to the owners of the property who were more than happy to donate the use of their land for our project. Seeds and plants were donated by many, and irrigation water was readily available. Volunteers got most of the garden planted during a planting night. I got the job of planting pumpkin seeds as shown in the photo above. Most of our seeds are up now, and we're eager to see how much our garden produces.

I have continued my cooking experiments making garbanzo bean flour pancakes or tortillas. Practice makes sort of perfect as I was able to make several tortilla-sized pancakes to make a wrap or roll-up. I filled it with a Thai chicken broccoli slaw filling with sunbutter (in place of peanut butter) sauce. Here's the recipe.

Gluten-free Thai Chicken Roll-ups

Ingredients for four roll-ups:

1 bag of broccoli slaw

1 pound chicken or turkey stir-fry strips

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. ginger powder

salt and pepper

1 T. canola oil

2 T. sunbutter

garbanzo bean flour tortillas (see recipe at:


Prepare garbanzo bean flour tortillas and keep warm. For the filling, stir-fry chicken strips in oil in a large skillet. Season with 1 tsp. each of ginger and garlic powders, salt and pepper. Remove chicken strips to a bowl and keep warm. Add a little more oil to the skillet and then the broccoli slaw. Season with the remaining ginger and garlic powders, and stir-fry until slightly soft. For the sauce, heat 2 T. of sunbutter or peanut butter in the microwave. Add 1-2 tsp. soy sauce and 1 T. of water. Stir to mix to a sauce-like consistency. I omitted the soy sauce and added some garlic instead and it was still quite tasty.

Spread some sunbutter sauce on the tortilla and then spoon on chicken and broccoli slaw. Drizzle with a little more sauce and then carefully roll it up. The garbanzo bean flour tortillas are pretty easy to work with as long they are warm.

You can use the same filling on other types of gluten-free or regular tortillas but I was experimenting with garbanzo bean flour as I am continuing to have to keep my carbs low to prevent a rebound of the candida (yeast infection) that thrives on sugar. I am probably looking at least 6 months to one year with restricted carbs.

But it's continuing to be worth it as my stomach is the best it's been in years. My husband and I took our son out to dinner recently for his birthday to a restaurant we hadn't gone to much for a long time because of my eating limitations. They serve an unlimited bowl of salad. I admit I devoured a good share of the salad. I just had to take my own dressing, an olive-oil, lemon juice, herb blend. My son kept staring at me in disbelief and finally asked, "So you can eat that much salad now?" Yes, I replied, and I'm loving it.