Archives for category: Recipes

Thanks to the very inspirational Tracy of FEC-this, my blog has received another nomination for Very Inspirational Blog. I have again fudged the rules for the nomination, mainly the rule that I nominate fifteen other blogs for the award. Instead, I will write something related to inspiration.

In my last post, I wrote about my initial foray into gluten-free bread baking. At the recommendation of my naturopath, I checked out the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef blog. I found what I was looking for, gluten free recipes but I also found an inspiring love story. Gluten-Free Girl, a.k.a. Shauna, is a woman who was terribly ill for YEARS until she was diagnosed with celiac disease several years ago and cut gluten out of her diet.

Then she falls in love with a chef. He ends up owning his own fine dining restaurant. Eventually, without her even asking, he changes his cuisine to gluten-free. He wants to share all of his cooking with her and also to provide a place for people to eat safely who have celiac disease, which I’ve learned is really quite awful. Even a little bit of gluten will make Shauna sick for three days, like chemo-level sick. So chef’s restaurant was (it has since closed) a mecca for folks who had not eaten in restaurants in years because of their health problems, as well as to people without celiac disease who were simply looking for a fine meal.

Shauna is also a professional writer and former English teacher. She is passionate about the subject as well as about her family. This combination is a recipe for a very well written blog.

A little lumpy but delicious!

A little lumpy but delicious!

P.S. My bread is delicious! I followed the recipe here.

To make a long story short, I may be allergic to wheat. A couple of years ago I had a skin patch test and a skin biopsy. Based on the results, my dermatologist suspected that a food allergy was responsible for my very annoying eczema. She referred me to an allergist. I opted not to follow up. Now my naturopathic oncologist suspects a wheat allergy and suggested that I try going gluten free for a couple of weeks and see what happens. Since my cancer treatment put me into menopause, I am experiencing an increase in eczema flare-ups. So my skin is even more annoying than usual.

I love wheat. I really, really love wheat. Bread and pasta, yum, yum, yum. I eat very little in the way of prepared food so I’m not so worried about hidden wheat. I have to tell you though, the corn and rice pasta noodles look gross. Also, I’m not crazy about increasing the amount of corn in my diet. Corn is in everything!

I just whipped up my very first batch of gluten-free bread dough. It looked doughy. The ingredients were incredibly expensive—sorghum, brown rice, and tapioca flours. I forgot about the xanthum gum. That was a fortune but I only needed two tablespoons. If this ends up being a more frequent baking project, I’m going to go to a store with bulk bins of this stuff, sold by weight.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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This is my new soup recipe. It is super good, I think. John and my father-in-law, Don agree. In fact it is so good that it cured my fear of orange caused by the Oompa Loompa hair dying incident and the Wonky Wonka boob that resulted from surgery #5.

Note: Unless otherwise described, I use a fairly large dice because I like to be both rustic and lazy.

Soup stock (adapted from Tom Colicchio’s turkey stock recipe)
1-2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
2  quarts chicken stock
1 chicken carcass (I bought a whole chicken from the store. If you follow a low sodium diet, you should probably use low sodium chicken broth unless you prepare your own chicken.)
(Note: I threw in the onion peels because they were a beautiful brown color.)

1. Saute vegetables in butter over medium heat 15-30 minutes, until deeply browned. Add chicken carcass either at beginning or after it’s cooked for awhile depending on whether it’s going to get in your way or not. Browning it a little will add flavor.
2. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and deglaze the pan so you can loosen all of the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan.
3. Add the rest of the stock, raise heat to a boil then lower to a simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Strain the broth and set aside.

The soup

8-12 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 head cauliflower, sliced into large bite-sized pieces.
2 onions, diced
2 sugar pie pumpkins, seeds and “guts” removed, peeled and diced into 1-2 inch pieces
cooked chicken, torn into small pieces (about 1-2 cups worth.)
2-3 tablespoons curry powder
Black pepper to taste
1.Roast cauliflower, drizzled lightly in olive oil for 25 minutes at 450 degrees. Set to side.
2. Cook bacon pieces until beginning to brown in a large soup pot. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve.
3. Add onions and cook until brown and carmelized, over medium low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock, pumpkin chunks, curry, and ground pepper. Cook, over medium heat until pumpkin is tender, about 20-25 minutes.
5. Add cooked chicken, bacon, and cauliflower. Cook until heated.
Note: I know that bacon is a bit odd in a curry dish. I had actually planned for another kind of soup and then discovered that I didn’t have all of the ingredients I thought I did. By the time I changed my plan to a curry flavored dish, the bacon was already cooked. As it turns out, bacon tastes darned good in curry.

It’s a normal Sunday and that means that I am cooking! I am using some leftover chicken to make a soup, this time with some pumpkin chunks in it. Actually, it may end up being a curry. As you can imagine, I am not following a recipe.

 

Wish me luck!

This morning, I was greeted by six very overripe bananas in my fruit bowl. You all know what that means. Another opportunity to stuff a baked good with ground flax! These are pretty good. The quantities were thrown off by my attempt to get 2 tablespoons of ground flax into every muffin without eliminating all of the flour. It ended up making 15 very large muffins instead of 12. (I used extra large muffin tin liners, so if you just bake them right in the pan or use smaller liners, you will get a larger quantity of smaller sized muffins.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Ingredients:

6 overripe bananas, mashed
2 cups ground flax seed
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup skim milk
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Mash the bananas and combine with oil, skim, milk, beaten eggs, and sugar.
2. Combine dry ingredients.
3. Mix wet and dry ingredients together.
4. Fill greased muffin pans (you can use liners or not) and fill each 2/3 full. (As noted previously, if unlike me, you do not use extra large muffin liners, you will make a larger quantity of smaller muffins.)
5. Bake 15-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

This recipe was adapted from Eating Well’s Tomato and Spinach Dinner Strata

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese (NOTE: I substituted 2/3 of a cauliflower, sliced into 1/2 inch wide slabs and oven roasted at 450 degrees for 25 minutes with a little olive oil.)
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry, or 1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, cooked, squeezed dry and chopped (NOTE: I used one bunch because I didn’t buy enough.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (NOTE: I just used regular ground old nutmeg.)
  • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce, divided (I used a big can of chopped tomatoes, straight from the can.)
  • 6 slices whole-grain sandwich bread, preferably day-old
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (NOTE: Does anyone else skip the parsley when it calls for a measly 2 tablespoons? If I buy a bunch of parsley, what am I going to do with the rest?)
  • (NOTE) I had some grilled eggplant slices on hand so I added them when I built up the layers of the strata.
  1. Coat a 7-by-11-inch (or similar-size) baking dish with cooking spray. (NOTE: I used a 9 X 13 pan, increased the cauliflower to a full head, the eggs to 4, the milk to 1 1/3 cups, the bread to 9 slices, and used a little more cheese.)
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan; increase heat to medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the moisture has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the onions, add 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt and stir to combine.
  3. Combine ricotta, spinach, nutmeg and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in another bowl.
  4. Spoon 1 cup marinara sauce into the prepared baking dish. Break each slice of bread into 4 roughly equal pieces; arrange half the bread on the sauce (the bread doesn’t have to completely cover the sauce). Spoon the ricotta mixture over the bread. Arrange the remaining bread over the ricotta. Scatter the mushroom mixture over the bread. Top with mozzarella. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the top. The pan will be very full.
  5. Whisk eggs and milk in a small bowl. (I added some hot sauce to the mixture to add a little zing.)  Pour the mixture slowly over the casserole, poking the filling gently with the tip of a knife until the egg mixture is evenly distributed and the bread is saturated. Coat a piece of foil with cooking spray on one side and cover the casserole, sprayed-side down. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the strata, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until puffed and golden brown, 10 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Here’s a picture. Mine looks extra pretty because I put slow-roasted Roma tomatoes on the top. It’s tasty and full of healthy stuff.

 

Eating one of these muffins is a good way to get a two tablespoon dose of flax meal. I am printing the original recipe with notes.

Molasses Muffins with Flax and Dates
1 egg (or substitute) or 2 egg whites
1/3 cup (115 g) molasses
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar)
3/4 cup (120 g) ground flax seed meal (NOTE: I used 1 1/2 cups of ground flax meal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (175 g) chopped dates
1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour, preferably half whole wheat and half white (NOTE: I used 1 cup of unbleached white flour).
1 teaspoon baking soda

Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; 1 teaspoon grated orange rind; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C), and prepare 12 muffin cups with papers or cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the egg, molasses, buttermilk, flax, and salt, and add the dates to the batter.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda (and cinnamon).

4. Gently stir the flour mixture (and orange rind and vanilla) into the egg mixture.

5. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook
2008
May 2009
by Nancy Clark

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My diet is light on legumes. I’m trying to increase that. Here’s one of the recipes I tried from Bon Appetit written by Michael Symon:

  • 1 pound dried gigante beans, dried lima beans, or dried Great Northern beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onions (about 2 medium)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes in juice (preferably San Marzano), tomatoes chopped, juice reserved
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (Note: I used balsamic vinegar because I didn’t have any red wine vinegar.)
  • 1/4 cup ouzo (Greek anise-flavored liqueur) (Note: I used 1/4 cup of dry vermouth because it was the closest thing I had.)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Greek)
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill (Note: I used dried because I forgot to buy fresh at the store).

Place beans in large bowl. Pour enough water over to cover beans by 3 inches; let soak overnight. Drain beans; set aside.

Heat olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté until onions are golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Add beans, 8 cups chicken broth, tomatoes with juice, vinegar, ouzo, oregano, and crushed red pepper to pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, adding more broth by cupfuls to keep beans submerged and stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 hours, depending on freshness of beans. If necessary, uncover and cook beans until tomato mixture thickens and liquid is slightly reduced, 10 to 15 minutes. Season beans to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. DO AHEAD: beans can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm beans before continuing, adding more chicken broth by 1/2 cupfuls if beans are dry.

Stir chopped fresh dill into beans. Serve with octopus. (Note: I served it with salmon. It is delicious and would go with many main dishes.)
Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gigante-Beans-364594#ixzz280w9cHWp

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gigante-Beans-364594#ixzz280vKT2iA
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