March 4, 2014
I don’t mind recipes that require a lot of time, but have little work. I find it nice to prepare a meal, and have an hour or so to clean up, or prepare upcoming lunches (and still have time to sit around and check emails). So from time to time I try and dabble in casseroles. I picked this dish for our withdrawal diet. At the time we introduced soy, but still couldn’t have any wheat.
This recipe was adapted by a curry cauliflower-fennel toss, but most of those spices were removed. The flavor is most emphasized by balsamic vinegar. Gourmet balsamic vinegars are becoming very popular, and I have two locals stores that make their very own. I HIGHLY recommend using a higher end vinegar. I used a white orange balsamic vinegar for the one featured in the photo. Continue reading
March 4, 2014
I can’t help but laugh a little. I made a pretty big vow to whip myself into blogging shape. I made a few recipes but waited to post so I could spread out my work. What happened? My husband’s new diet.
See, my husband, Jon, has always had a sensitive stomach. We constantly went back and forth about what ailed his stomach. We blamed the usual suspects like cabbage, beans, etc. So I left these foods out of his lunch. But the stomach did not subside. It reached a crescendo during Super Bowl week when my husband described the pain as unbearable. So we are in a current food overhaul. I’ve heard of some diets where people cut out common food intolerances to try and pinpoint the culprit.
Okay so let me back up- what the fudge am I talking about? Most of us are aware of Food allergies (IgE). Doctors test for these allergies by pricking a needle on your skin and waiting for signs of irritation. This is an immediate response to the allergy trigger, and most people have a general sense of their allergies. That seasonal allergy? IgE. That girl who carries around an EpiPen just in case of “nut-dust”? IgE. These allergies are easy to identify.
But food sensitivities (IgG), are more difficult to identify. Food “sensitivities” can be called allergies or intolerance. Testing for these allergies is usually done with a blood sample. Information about this is relatively new, and sadly, that means that most insurance companies don’t currently cover this testing. Basically it is a delayed reaction to the “bad foods.”
Symptoms can be a little vague. They range from digestion issues (IBS, bloating, blood in stool, constipation) to skin irritations (acne, eczema, hives) or even general aches (fatigue, headaches, puffy eyes). Many symptoms can be passed off as side effects of other ailments, so knowing that you may actually have any food sensitivities isn’t simple.
January 31, 2014
One of my daily morning rituals is having a cup of apple cider tonic. The habit started when my husband wanted to use apple cider vinegar to help clear out his sinuses. There are lots of claims of what apple cider vinegar can do for you, some make sense, while others are a little outlandish.
Vegans should try having a glass of apple cider vinegar tonic every morning since it helps increase the absorption of calcium. Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid, which can increase the body’s ability to absorb vital minerals. Some other most substantial health claims of apple cider vinegar are improved digestion, increased reception to insulin, weight control, and help cleaning sinuses.
I stick to Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar since they keep the mother. This means that the bacteria that helped turn apple juice into vinegar are still in there. Think of it like that poop-gurt that Jamie Lee Curtis keeps trying to sell you. Although the bacteria cultures are different, the effect is similar.
I usually make a simple drink using just water, vinegar, and a sweetener (honey, agave, or stevia) But it came become boring. A simple remedy is just to use iced tea instead. But I woke up one morning and decided to try a little more. I brewed a big pitcher of iced yerba mate, and squeezed some limes in there. The result was amazing.
October 17, 2013
Irish Potatoes are a weird snack. Being from North Jersey, I never heard of them. You wouldn’t think driving an hour and half south would make such a cultural difference. Apparently, I was the only person in Philadelphia who didn’t know what an Irish Potato was. It’s such a big treat that there is a local factory that makes pre-made Irish Potatoes for the yearly demand during Saint Patrick’s Day. And I see them in every single supermarket.
My roommates insisted to break my “Irish Potato” cherry and make some. To my surprise, there wasn’t anything Irish about it, nor was there any potatoes in there. The recipe was pretty simple, crisco (or butter if you are fancy), cream cheese, and coconut. Roll it in cinnamon. Bam! Done. If I remember correctly not liking them much, but I couldn’t help but grab more.
But I am a sucker for local traditions. And seeing the popularity of cake pops and oreo truffles, I feel like it time for Irish Potatoes to shine. But I think they could be more creative, and more flavorful. I cut down on the fats, and added some leftover mashed potatoes. Sounds crazy, but this idea isn’t new. It is the basis for the Needham candies that are made in Maine.
The result? I told my husband to take to candies to work and give them out. Nobody knew. Everyone commented on how they were some of the best Irish Potatoes, so as far as I can tell I improved on the recipe. One person said that they could taste a little bit of the potato once I revealed my recipe, and I agree. But I think it add a nice velvety layer to it, and makes them a little less rich (which means you can eat more right?)
September 1, 2013
Wanna impress your friend? Make your own hot sauce. Yup, that will win you to the bad-ass chef status. But you don’t have to tell them that this hot sauce was absurdly easy to make. All you have to do is chop some jalapenos like a five year old, cram in a jar with brine, wait a few days, blend.
This sauce I made after reading a recipe for an Indian pickle recipe. It was pretty interesting, and different from most pickles I’ve read. They incorporated oil into a brine, and added sour limes at the end. This sounded pretty yummy for a hot sauce. So for this recipe you will be making lacto-acid-fermented jalapeños. It is seriously as simple as adding salt, water and peppers to a jar.
August 9, 2013
I love ice cream. I love fruit pops. I love sorbet, ice cream sandwiches, basically anything that is cold, sweet and creamy. Of coarse that creates issue when you are trying not to eat dairy. Soy, rice, and coconut milk based ice creams pack a lot of sugar and raids your wallet.
Although I own an ice cream maker, I found that making ice cream pops is a quick solution to an ice cream craving. I’ve been trying to also make some raw alternatives, with some awesome results. This week I made some Mexican Avocado Fudgsicles.
The trouble with frozen desserts is that as thing become colder, the flavor isn’t as strong. Which is why so much sugar is added to ice cream, and fruit pops. To sweeten, I used a mix of various sugars; some dried dates, agave syrup, and stevia; in hopes of balancing out flavors. The chipotle powder gives a nice kick, and matches well with the avocados.
I made the mix very thick, to give the pops an ice cream like consistency. This way you can bite into the pop and have it melt in your mouth. If you are too frustrated with your blender, feel free to water down your pops. Just be aware you will dull down the flavors, and taste to before pouring.