Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Recent Good Eats...

Alright, still trying some of the Costco finds.   Last night I opened the Mediterranian Chicken Skewers.  They were very good.  I microwaved two at a time and it took about 30 sec's to get warm.  The meat is still on charred skewers, which gives them an authentic, appealing appearance.  The chicken was pretty good, with no real stand out flavor.  These would do well with any seasoning/sauce you preferred to put with them.  I was afraid they would have "greek" flavoring, but that wasn't the case.  They are bare canvas for your culinary flavors.  
I froze the packages as I need to not eat so much chicken all at once.  Being frozen didn't seem to hurt the product at all.  The only negative was an rare/occasional "spongy" feel or fat grissle to the meat.  While I noticed it, it didn't happen enough for me to dismiss this product.  I still like it and will buy it again.  Winner!

The other new item I tried was the Trader Joe's Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips.  These were good, a tortilla chip with a slightly sweet taste.  I liked them, but didn't check the label before buying and the product still has corn as a major ingredient.  I am supposed to avoid corn.  Too bad for me as they rocked salsa.

Tonight I came up with a polish sausage, pepper, onion, summer squash and garlic skilllet.  Easy peasy and delicious.  
Kielbasa polish sausage sliced in 1/2" rounds, browned in coconut oil.  Add sliced onions and peppers.  Towards the very end add the sliced summer squash and some pressed garlic.  
I scooped out a bunch out of the pan for me, then tossed some cooked linguine in the pan and coated the noodles with the coconut oil and pan grease.  Tossed a few times to intergrate the pasta, meat and vegetable, then served that to my husband.  He liked it and the noodles are a good filler for him.  I enjoyed it without noodles, but you could add whatever you use as a regular pasta substitute.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ginger Coconut Whip with Pomegranate Seeds....

Just saw a recipe from the blog at Wholelifefullsoul that looks delicious, a "Ginger Coconut Whip with pomegranate seeds.  Hop on over and take a look, it looks delightful!

This recipe is dairy and egg free.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sweet Potatoes are my new BFF.

A year ago I never would have believed that I would be eating sweet potatoes as much as I am, and I'm loving them!  Me and sweet potatoes have gotten close.  

So far, everything I've done with them requires that they are peeled first.  I haven't tried any recipe where it says to leave the skin on. Anyone know if it works to leave the skin on?  

I like to thinly slice them, toss with coconut oil, season to taste and bake, in a single layer, at 375 until they are firm and starting to turn brown.  They require turning at about 13 mins, and again a couple more times until brown (about every 13 mins, but decreasing the time the longer they have been in the oven).  It's not a fast process and some get done faster than others, depending on their thickness.  But it's worth it.  These golden disks are great as a cracker or chip substitute when looking for a way to move dip into your mouth. I think they would make a good nachos base. They did soften when stored over night in a ziplock bag, but crisped right up when heated and turned in a warm frying pan on the stove.

My lastest trick with sweet potatoes is hash browns.  I was looking for something to join bacon or sausage as a way to make my morning meal more like breakfast, these worked great.  I used Google to check out a couple of recipes and blend techiques to get a good result for me.

First I peel them and shred them with a box grater, then coat them lightly in coconut oil.  Place in a bowl and parboil them in the microwave for a few minutes.  Others suggested water instead of the oil, but I don't have a cast iron pan.  I knew I was going to use a metal pan that could go to the oven when I was done with them on the stove top.  I was hoping that by having the oil well incorporated that they wouldn't stick terribly to the pan.  It worked pretty well.  But getting the amount of time in microwave just right is the first trick.  Not too soft to lose the form of the shredded potato, but cooked enough that they don't take forever to brown up.  You may have to play with that a bit to get your technique down.  
After the microwave I put them in the pan with a bit of melted ghee, just to make sure I didn't get sticking.  Let them cook on one side until brown or you can't stand it any longer and you have to look. Pre-heat your broiler now. Repeat the "wait and look" process until they are starting to brown.  I found that while some parts where browning, the middles seemed to be too moist still.  This is where the broiler comes in.  Place your pan under the broiler and let it do it's thing.  You should see the potatotes start to dry out and turn crispy.  Remove from the oven and mix/flip as need to get the texture you like. Mine came out crispy and delicious.  I served mine with cooked chicken italian sausage and onions.   You can add chopped onions from the very beginning too.

I will make these again, hope you enjoy them too.

Today at Trader Joe's I found two kinds of sweet potato chips.  With the Super Bowl coming up I thought it was important to see how I can use these products to keep me in the party that day.


These ridged potato chips are delicious and would work well for dip, if i can find one that doesn't include dairy.  The only thing I don't like about them is the canola/safflower oil.  I wish they had used coconut oil.  I think these chip could also be good broken up and used as a crunchy topping on salads.  I'll test that tomorrow.  
They were delicious with fresh blackberries however.

The other chip I bought was a sweet potato "tortilla chip', I haven't tried that one yet.  Stay tuned, I think they will meet the avocado I have in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Should I start a new blog..."It's About Food"?!

It's about what food I can eat and how to cook so that I can enjoy life.  In December I did a blood test for food antigens, to learn what my body was unhappy about me eating.  I actually did this in two parts.  The first test came back and the results suggested that I should be gluten free.  That wasn't too bad.  I don't normally eat bread products (unless we go out), and have totally abstained from pasta.  I have been living out of my copy of "Practical Paleo", by Diane Sanfillipo, and really enjoying it.  I thought that making the transition wouldn't be that bad. Then 3 weeks later I received the full food panel results and that caused my life to be turned upside down.  Prior to getting the results, I said "please, just don't let me be sensitive to eggs"!  Egg were my go to food.  You can do a million things with eggs and I'd be happy.  I have two neighbors with backyard chickens, I have an unlimited supply of eggs. Well, unfortunately, eggs of all types were on the no eat list.  And there's more.  Blueberries!  Pineapple!  Peanuts. Almonds?!  But all my nut butters, I love them!!!! Dairy.  Wow, this is getting serious.  How am I going to do this?  I want to be healthy, have energy and feel good.  If I want that, then I need to do my part with food. This is huge for me.  I'm thinking if I blog what works, I can build a list of things that I like.  I haven't been good at blogging in the past, but I need a way to store my successes and failures for future reference.  I'm going to give this a try and see how it works out.

Here's a list of food that I have to give up forever:
Dairy, eggs, gluten, peanuts, sesame seeds, pineapple, broccoli, lemon, radish, almonds, crab, clams, cranberries, banana, lemon, beans, soy, corn, oat, spelt, walnut, rice, mushroom

Here's a list of foods that I have to give up for now, and can add back in later, at the rate of once every 3-4 days:
Blueberries, coffee, sunflower seeds, carrot

Here's some ways I've been dealing with this new way of eating:
I cook a protein and find a way to throw vegetables with it. 
I like to have a cooked meat in the refrigerator to throw onto lettuce for a salad.  
Basalmic vinegar and EVOO have been my best friends.  
Morning smoothie with spinach and whatever I have in the refrigerator, including fruit, canned pumpkin, coconut manna, chia seed, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, pecans, coconut milk.  Love my magic bullet!
Snacking on apples and pecans.  Also dairy free chocolate chips, but I need to stop that.  Same with the dark chocolate covered pomegranite seeds from Trader Joes.  I don't think they are dairy free.  I need to learn to make my own.

Yesterday I went to Costco to see what I could do there and came home with a pile of food to try, including: 
*  Fresh raspberries and blackberries
*  Pre-cut organic apples (I'm eating them a lot for snacks on the go).
*  Pre-cooked chicken skewers
*  Rotisserie chicken 
*  Frozen strawberries
*  Romaine hearts
*  Bag of pecans
*  Pre-cooked, sliced beef

Next time I'm going to try the tilapia fillets, salmon, and the organic ground beef.  If anyone else has suggestions, feel free to let me know.  I need to expand my food horizons!

One key point the Dr. made was that I need to vary what I eat, don't make the same thing day after day.  I find that a challenge because I like to cook once and eat on it for 2-3 days.  So to vary, I'll have to watch my protein carefully.  I would probably eat chicken and ground beef only, if given the chance.  Gonna have to learn to eat other meats, and add in fish.