Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tofu Omelet

My foot is all healed from the exploding Pyrex pan; the antibiotics are all finished; and the dreaded candida did not make a triumphant return. I guess I have a lot to be thankful for.
I believe the key to keeping the candida at bay was strictly following the anti-candida diet (ACD). It was difficult but I even made it through the Thanksgiving feast without cracking. My family gnoshed on the traditional foods while I ate mainly turkey and vegetables. I love turkey so it was all good. I also whipped up a pumpkin-tofu custard for dessert.
Something else I'm thankful for is I discovered you can use tofu to make omelets that taste almost like the real thing. I love omelets but I had to give them up long ago when I discovered I am allergic to eggs. Thirty minutes after seeing a picture of a tofu omelet on the internet, I was in the kitchen trying to whip one of my own up. This proved to be quite a learning experience.
My first omelet turned out being more like scrambled tofu. I was too eager and tried to flip the omelet too soon. I decided to try the oven instead as that always worked out better for me even when I used to make omelets from eggs. I used one of my oven-proof skillets; sprayed and oiled it lightly; poured in the some of the tofu omelet mixture; and popped it in the oven. It worked like magic. The tofu omelet stayed together instead of getting scrambled. It was almost perfect. Well, except that I left it in the oven a little too long, and it got a little too dark on top. Next time, I will have discovered all the secrets of cooking tofu omelets, and it will come out perfectly.
Here's the recipe for my Tofu Omelet with Veggie Filling (makes 2 large omelets).
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 pkg. soft Silken tofu
1/4 pkg. extra-firm tofu
1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. ground flax
2 T. tahini butter
2 T. garbanzo bean flour
To make the filling: saute the onions, peppers and zucchini in a sprayed or lightly oiled skillet.
To make the omelets: combine all the other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Spray an omelet-sized pan with pan spray. Make sure the pan is oven safe. Pour in 1/2 of the omelet mixture and spread to cover evenly. Place in the oven, preheated to 450 degrees, for 6-8 minutes. I left mine in the oven for 10 minutes and that was too long. So keep an eye on it.
If you're feeling adventurous, you also can cook the omelet in the skillet on the stove top but again I didn't have much success with this. So, if you do, let me know the secret.
To complete the omelets, spoon in some of the veggie filling and fold over. I hope you enjoy your tofu omelet as much as I enjoyed mine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thai Curry Tofu

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.

All of this "fun" and I didn't even get to eat the chicken I had baked in the oven when the pan exploded and shot glass shards as far as 15 feet in my kitchen. But the hard part is over. Now, I just don't want to see others go through this same situation. Pyrex, now manufactured by World Kitchens, denies any wrong doing for any of the many complaints they have received. Instead, they attribute it to user error.

Oh sure, I'm a college graduate but I don't know how to properly use a glass pan. This reminds me of when I had a kickstand problem with my first mountain bike. It was a fairly inexpensive one and the kickstand was too short. I took it to the bike shop where I purchased it and explained that the kickstand wouldn't work. I was told I just didn't know how to operate a kickstand. You can imagine how well that went over. The bike shop received a very heated letter and shortly after that, they apologized and fixed the kickstand.

I've never had any problems with their pans until five years ago when I decided to replace some of my antique Pyrex pans (20-30 years old) with new ones. Three of these new ones have exploded either in the oven or upon being removed from the oven. Until the latest mishap, I had never been injured. If you are interested in reading more about exploding glass pans, go to In the meantime, I am beginning to file complaints with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and State Attorney General's office as my first steps.

I'm happy to have my injury healing but I am not happy about having to take 14 days of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Every time I pop one in my mouth, I know I am risking having my candida problem reoccur. Candida flourish when good bacteria are killed off which basically is what antibiotics do: they don't discriminate between good and bad bacteria. They just gun them all down. My stomach definitely does not like the antibiotics. It has been all haywire since the first few days of using them.

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.

Ingredients for 2 servings:

1/2 pound firm or extra firm tofu(cubed)
Spice blend of 2 T. coriander seed, 1 T. cumin seed, 1 tsp. caraway seed (all crushed in a spice mill) plus 1 tsp. garlic powder, salt and pepper, 2 T. dried cilantro
2 cloves garlic minced
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, diced
6 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small squares
1 T. Thai red curry paste
1/4 cup vegetable broth (Imagine makes a good broth that is unsweetened.)
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk

In a large skillet, sprayed with pan spray, brown the tofu cubes, which were tossed in the some of the spice blend beforehand. Remove and set aside.
Add the onion, garlic, ginger and carrot. Saute for a five minutes with some of the vegetable broth added to the pan. Add the zucchini, asparagus and red pepper, and cook for a few more minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add the Thai red curry paste to the pan with the rest of the vegetable broth and stir until smooth. When it begins to bubble, add the soy milk (or use unsweetened coconut milk for more of a Thai flare) and blend. Add the vegetables and tofu back to the skillet and cooked for a few minutes.
Serve over brown rice if not on the anti-candida diet.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin-Tofu Stoup

My latest challenge is having to go back on antibiotics again. For someone with candida, that would be the equivalent of being exposed to an especially virulent virus if you had a weakened immune system.

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 grumbliBoldng 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

Miso-veggie-tofu stew

My dog, Kona, is covering her ears in the picture above because she doesn't want to hear my excuses for why I have been eating fermented tempeh and miso paste while on an anti-candida diet (ACD). One of the first rules of the diet is: avoid fermented foods which contain mold and add to your candida overgrowth.

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.

Miso-Veggie-Tofu Stew
(makes 4 servings)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1 T. brown rice miso paste (up to 3 T. can be added but remember it is fermented)
1 quart vegetable broth (makes sure it contains no sugar)
1/2 pkg. extra firm tofu (diced)
1 zucchini (diced)
1/2 small red cabbage (chopped)
1 T. chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet. Add the veggies and cook until tender crisp. Add the miso and mix well. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and add the diced tofu and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes. Serve in bowls garnished with green onions, if desired. To make this a meal, add more veggies of your choice to the stew and up the protein content by adding protein powder of your choice.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Swiss Chard with Edaname and Soy Nut-Carob Fudge

Halloween can be a little dismal if you are following an anti-candida diet (ACD) and are still getting over the flu. It was beginning to look like pumpkin seeds were going to be the closest thing I was going to get to a treat. But I've learned that denying yourself can lead to cravings, splurges, etc. It just gets ugly if you know what I mean, especially when you have Halloween treats in the house for those trick-or-treaters.

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.