Saturday, November 3, 2007

Baked Oatmeal

6 cups Rolled or Steel Cut Oats
2 cups Yogurt or Kefir
1 cup Raisins, optional
1 Tbsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
4 large Eggs
1/3 cup Honey
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda

Combine rolled oats and raisins with yogurt in a glass mixing bowl. Cover. Let stand on the counter for 24 hours.

After soaking oats for 24 hours, grease a 9x13 baking dish. Preheat oven to 350F.

In mixer, beat eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and cinnamon on high for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and slowly add soaked oats and raisins. Add salt. Increase speed and beat on high for 1 minute. Reduce speed to low, add baking soda.

Pour into prepared dish. Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut into 24 bars.

Serve warm or cold, toasted (in toaster oven), or in a bowl with milk.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Turkey Soup

This post is for Tiffany...

Our small group had a big dinner last Tuesday night, and the girl who made the turkey offered the "remains" to me.

So that evening, I dumped everything into my 8-qt stock pot - bones, skin and all the other scary stuff left over after carefully picking the carcass. Then I covered it all with hot water, put on the lid and brought it to a boil. Ben wanted me to turn it off overnight, so after simmering on medium heat for about two hours, I turned it off and went to bed.

Next morning, the pot was still hot. I added more hot water, 2 Tbls salt plus 5 bay leaves and a Tbl of dried parsley then brought it back to a boil. It simmered on medium heat for 8 more hours. I added water periodically, bringing it back to a full boil then returning it to a simmer throughout the day. I had to run an errand, so around 2 p.m., I added more water, brought it to a rolling boil then turned it down to low and headed out the door. When I came home at 5 p.m., I turned it back up to full boil for a short bit while I started cutting vegetables. Next I strained the stock and returned all but 2 quarts of the liquid to the stove. (I froze those 2 quarts in quart-sized freezer bags.)

I added chopped carrots (1 1/2 cups), celery (3 stalks) and a red pepper along with 1 1/2 cups of chopped broccoli stems (which I find quite flavorful!). After they simmered on medium for a bit and softened, I added a bag of mixed vegetables and a chopped sweet potato. I also added a small bit (maybe 2/3 cup) of leftover cooked brown rice. After seasoning a bit more with salt, I added 3 cups of chopped/shredded turkey meat. Then I served it piping hot. Store-bought rolls & butter accompanied - regular yeast rollls for the gluten-tolerant and gluten-free for my Ben.

(If I could have let it cook all night, I would have turned it down to low overnight and let it cook one more day. But since I'd had to turn it off, I thought it best to serve the soup that day.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Boxty's - Irish Potato Pancakes

We made these on St. Patrick's Day when Ed & Robin lived with us. What a great memory!

1 cup mashed potatoes
1 1/4 cups grated potato (sqeezed dry in towel)
3/4 cup rice flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice + enough rice milk to make 1/2 cup

* Preheat griddle over medium heat.
* Dissolve the lemon juice in the rice milk to make a buttermilk substitute
* Combine flour, soda and salt.
* Mix potatoes together then add dry ingredients.
* Pour a bit of olive oil onto the griddle.
* Add milk to potato mixture.
* Pour 3 Tbls onto griddle and smooth out to make very flat.
* Turn over and cook second side.
* Remove to paper towel.

Serve rolled and stuffed with Irish fillings for a very tasty meal.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Moist Cornbread

This cornbread is very moist. I use Old Time cornmeal which is finely ground and soft.

2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup apple juice concentrate
1 cup rice milk
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Gluten-Free Vanilla
2 Tbls Olive Oil
1 Tbls Baking Powder

* Preheat oven to 350 F.
* Grease 8x8 or 9x9 square glass baking pan.
* Combine dry ingredients in one bowl.
* Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl.
* Slowly add dry to wet. Stir only until combined. Mixture should be a bit lumpy.
* Pour into prepared baking dish.
* Bake 20 minutes at 350.
* Turn oven up to 400. Bake another 7 - 10 minutes.
* Remove from oven; allow to cool slightly.
* Using plastic knife, cut into 12 pieces.
* Serve warm.

Hearty Chili

This recipe serves 6-8 when paired with brown rice or cornbread (see separate entry).

Migraine-Friendly Base:
2 cups dry Kidney Beans
2 cups dry Black Beans
1 29 oz can Cento Crushed Tomatoes
1 16 oz bag frozen Sweet Corn
1 Tbls dried Oregano
2 Tbls Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Chili Pepper-not powder (some migraine sufferers may need to omit this ingredient)
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

* Place both bags of beans in a large stock pot. Cover with 3-4 inches of water and soak 8 hours or overnight.
* Drain soaking water.
* Add fresh water to beans in pot, covering with another 4 inches of water. Place on stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Skim froth from the top of the pot then simmer for at least one hour. [Do NOT salt until beans are fully cooked as salt creates tough beans prior to complete cooking.]
*Beans are done when they are soft to bite. Remove from heat. Add 1 to 2 Tbls sea salt and stir thoroughly.
* Drain liquid, but retain for later use. Keep beans in the pot.
* Add all remaining ingredients, adding some cooking liquid from beans if necessary.
* Cook until heated through.
* Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.

For non-migraine, gluten-free chili, add the following to the migraine-friendly base:

4 Trader Joe's Chicken Sausages (2 Sun-Dried Tomato; 2 Roasted Garlic)
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 tsp chopped garlic
4 oz chopped mushrooms
2 Tbls Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbls Chili Powder

* Chop onion, mushrooms and sausages each into 1/2 inch chunks
* Place olive oil and onions in large skillet.
* Turn on heat to medium high.
* Saute onions until they begin to soften.
* Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt.
* After 4 minutes, add sausages.
* Cook together until sausages are heated through.
* Turn off heat; add garlic.
* Add all to above base.
* Serve hot with salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Oven-Fried Tilapia

4 Tilapia Filets (total weight approx 1 lb)

2/3 cups Rice Milk
1 large Egg

1 cup Cornmeal
1 Tbls Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Garlic Pwdr (optional for migraine friendly)
1 tsp Celery Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup chopped Pine Nuts (optional for migraine friendly)

* Preheat oven to 425F.
* Place 1/2 cup olive oil on large, 1-inch rimmed baking sheet
* Mix together milk & egg.
* In separate dish, mix together cornmeal plus seasonings and pine nuts
* Dredge fish in liquid then in dry ingredients.
* Be sure each filet is completely covered in cornmeal mixture.
* Place filets on baking sheet.
* Tilt baking dish to allow oil to evenly distribute over sheet, then place in hot oven.
* Bake for 4 minutes, flip fish, bake another 4-5 minutes.
* When internal temp of largest portion of fish reads 145 - 150, remove from oven.
* Serve immediately with sweet potatoes and steamed or roasted vegetables or sauteed spinach.

If there is any breading left over, try mixing enough left-over liquid into the cornmeal/seasoning mixture plus up to an 1/8 tsp of baking soda to make pancake consistency. Fry mixture like pancakes on hot skillet in butter or olive oil. Serve hot alongside fish.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ground Beef Stroganoff

1 lb Brown Rice spiral pasta
3 Tbls butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 - 12 oz sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 1/4 cup white or red wine (anything you like to drink)
Reserved cooking liquid from rice pasta

* Salt large pot (5 cups) of water and bring to boil.
* Add pasta and cook until al dente.
* Drain, reserving all cooking liquid for use in stroganoff.

* Over medium high heat, saute chopped onion in butter until transluscent.
* Add mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes then sprinkle with salt and marjoram. Cook until mushrooms begin to glisten.
* Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and black pepper, saute to blend flavors.
* Remove mixture from pan.
* Return pan to medium high heat.
* Add ground beef and cook thoroughly.
* Add onion/mushroom mixture then 1/2 cup wine.
* Cover and allow to simmer until liquid is reduced.
* Remove lid and add remaining wine and cooking liquid from pasta 1/2 cupful at a time until desired "sauciness" is reached.

* Combine pasta with sauce.
* Serve with sauteed spinach and remaining wine.


Not only is this meatloaf migraine-friendly, it can also be served to babies under age one who are eating table food.

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 cup rolled oats
2 egg yolks
4 oz Gerber Stage 2 Garden Vegetables (baby food)
4 oz Stage 2 Green Beans (baby food)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 Tbls Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 cup chopped tomatoes, seasoned with 1 tsp Italian Seasoning and 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix all ingredients (except last cup of seasoned tomatoes) together and place in glass bread baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce oven to 350 F. Bake another 35-40 minutes, until internal temp reaches 150 F. Pour seasoned tomatoes over and bake 10 minutes more (until internal temp reaches 160 F.

* Baby food vegetables can be replaced with one cup of shredded zucchini

* If not serving to babies under one, egg yolks can be replaced by one egg.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Baked Rice

This recipe is great for serving with curry sauces. You can make plain baked rice simply by removing the vegetables. Liquid-to-rice ratio remains the same as do the baking time and temp.

2 cups long grain brown rice
1 cup wild rice
2 cups frozen, chopped cauliflower
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
2-3 shredded carrots
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
2 cups chicken stock
4 cups water

* Preheat oven to 350 F.
* Combine all ingredients in deep 9x13 baking dish.
* Cover tightly with foil.
* Bake 90 minutes.

Thai Green Curry Shrimp

The green curry simmer sauce is not gluten free or migraine friendly. But I'm told it tasted really good! Serve over GF/MF baked rice (see separate recipe).

15 frozen, raw shrimp per person
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 12 oz jar Trader Joe's Thai Green Curry simmer sauce

* Thaw shrimp, peel, remove tail
* Preheat oil in saute pan over medium heat.
* Saute shrimp just until pink.
* Add simmer sauce and bring to boil. Cover and remove from heat.

* Serve shrimp & sauce over steaming rice.

Mexican Bean Soup

4 cups dry kidney beans
4 cups dry black beans
2 quarts chicken stock
12 oz. frozen corn
15 oz crushed tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tbs cumin
2 Tbs cilantro
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sea salt

Soak and cook beans according to bag instructions. It is fine to combine the beans for soaking and cooking.

When beans are fully cooked, drain, but retain some liquid for soup, if necessary. Return beans to the pan. Add all remaining ingredients, stir well, and adjust seasoning to taste. 

Bring to boil. 

Serve hot with tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar/monterey jack and guacamole.

Migraine Friendly - may need to remove lemon juice.

Cuban Mojito with Roasted Vegetables & Quinoa

4-6 Boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts
1 12 oz jar Trader Joe's Cuban Mojito simmer sauce
4 Zucchini
2 Summer Squash
2 medium Bell Peppers (Red/Yellow/Orange)
24 oz. can Black Beans
2 cups Quinoa
2 cups Chicken Broth
2 cups Hot Water

* Place chicken breasts in large skillet and pour 1/2 jar of simmer sauce over them. Be sure each chicken breast is smothered in sauce. Cover and marinate for 1 hour - if frozen, leave on stove; if fresh, marinate in refrigerator.

* Chop vegetables into 2 inch chunks. Toss with 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, oregano.

* After chicken has marinated one hour, turn on stove to mdeium. When internal temp of chicken reaches 150, remove lid and add remaning sauce. Cook until chicken reaches 160F.

* Combine quinoa with chicken broth & water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover. Cook for 15 minutes until water is absorbed and "germ" has burst.

* Warm black beans in pot on stove or in microwave.

* Broil vegetables on 2nd oven shelf on high for 4 - 5 minutes (watch carefully and turn sooner if necessary). Turn vegetables over and broil second side same length of time.

* To serve: Spoon quinoa onto plate. Top quinoa with chicken and sauce. Serve black beans and vegetables on the side.

Light & Easy Pasta Toss

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 lbs Brown Rice Fusili Pasta
6 medium tomatoes
8 oz. frozen Artichoke Hearts (without citric acid)
1 onion (optional for migraine sufferers)
2 tsp garlic (optional for migraine sufferers)
2 tsp Oregano (or more, to taste)

* Remove artichoke hearts from freezer and allow to reach room temperature. May rinse under cold water to speed process. Then chop into bite-sized pieces.

* Chop tomatoes. Add 1 tbsp salt and the oregano. Toss. Allow tomatoes to juice while cooking chicken and pasta.

* Poach chicken breasts in salted water. When internal temp. reaches 160, remove chicken from water and allow to cool slightly. Then shred.

* If using onion & garlic, chop onion. Place 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet. Add garlic and onion then turn on burner to medium heat. Saute, stirring constantly. When garlic begins to slightly turn brown, add shredded chicken and toss to combine flavors.

* In a separate large pot, add 1 Tbsp salt to 6 cups water and bring to boil. Add pasta and cook al dente, according to package directions.

* When pasta has finished cooking, drain well. Toss chicken (and garlic/onions), tomatoes and artichoke hearts together. Serve immediately with parmesan cheese (for non-migraine sufferers).

Friday, August 17, 2007

One Pot Mango or Peach Curry Rice & Chicken

(from the Spice Hunter Curry bottle)

1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tbls curry seasoning
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 cup grated carrots
2 cups rice, uncooked
4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup peas
2 cups frozen or fresh mangos or peaches
4 cups chicken broth
salt to taste
1/2 cup toasted almonds (optional)

* In large skillet over medium heat, place oil, chicken, curry seasoning and onion. Saute 5 minutes.
* Add vegetables and fruit and saute another 3 minutes.
* Pour in rice. Stir until opaque.
* Stir in chicken broth.
* When it simmers, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes.
* Fluff with fork, then spoon into serving dish.
* Sprinkle with almonds, if desired.

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and Quinoa

1 lg lemon
2 Tbls Olive Oil
2 Tbls Chopped Fresh Mint
1 1/2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Pepper
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Ground Allspice
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

* Clean lemon with soap and water. Zest then juice the lemon.
* Combine zest, juice and pulp with remaining ingredients except chicken.
* Spoon wet paste over top of chicken breasts. Allow to marinate in fridge for 1 to 24 hours.
* Turn on grill to medium. Preheat for 10 minutes.
* Place chicken on grill, seasoned side UP.
* Cook 12 - 15 minutes. Turn once. Grill 8 minutes more or until meat thermometer reads 160 in largest part of breast.
* Serve with rice and sauteed spinach or slice and serve over bed of fresh lettuce greens, orange peppers and grape tomatoes or serve with the following recipe.

2 cups Quinoa
1 small Zucchini, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small Yellow Squash, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 Red Onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
4 medium Tomatoes
3 Tbls Olive Oil
1 Tbls + 1 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Basil
up to 4 cups Chicken Broth

* Cut tomatoes into large chunks, Combine in large non-metal bowl with 2 Tbls olive oil, 1 Tbls salt and basil. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain liquid into measuring cup. Reserve tomatoes.

* Add chicken broth to measure 4 cups liquid. Pour into large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and quinoa germ has "popped."

* While quinoa cooks, saute peppers and onion in 1 Tbls olive oil and 1 tsp salt.

* To serve, alternately layer quinoa, sauteed vegetables and tomatoes in six total layers.

* Serve Hot!

Chinese Savory Beef with Baked Brown Rice

The following recipe is fabulous for days when you will be super busy or out & about and need dinner ready when you get home. Serve with broccoli. (It is NOT migraine friendly.)

2-3 lb Beef Roast (can be frozen)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
2 Tbls honey
2 cups water

Place roast in slow cooker by 8 a.m. Add all remaining ingredients in order. Turn on to low and cook until 5 p.m. Remove roast from cooker and shred. Place in serving bowl and pour over juices from slow cooker.

Baked Brown Rice
2 cups long grain brown rice (anything from Trader Joes in the 2/3 lb bags)
4 cups water
1 Tbls Kosher salt

Place all in oven-safe dish. Cover tightly with an oven-safe lid or with foil. Bake at 350 for 75 - 90 minutes. Remove from oven. Fluff with fork and serve. (Baking rice works especially well if you have a time bake feature on the oven.)

Brown Rice Spaghetti and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

Meatballs -
20 oz ground beef
1 Tbls Italian Seasoning
1 tsp oregano (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large egg

* Preheat oven to 400 F.
* Spray large cookie sheet (with sides) with nonstick cooking spray.
* Gently mix all ingredients together with fork (over-mixing will cause meatballs to be tough).
* Scoop 1-inch balls onto prepared cookie sheet.
* Bake 8 minutes then turn over.
* Meatballs are ready when internal temp reaches 160F.

Tomato Sauce -
28 oz Cento or Pomi Crushed Tomatoes
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 large red pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp oregano

* Heat olive oil in covered pan on medium high heat.
* Toss in red pepper and saute for several minutes, stirring constantly.
* Add seasonings and saute 30 seconds.
* Add crushed tomatoes, cover and reduce heat to medium low.
* Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, being careful not to let sauce scorch.

Serve sauce over hot brown rice spaghetti and meatballs.

Creamed Chicken over Biscuits

* Boil 4 chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs with 2 bay leaves and 1 Tbls salt.
* When chicken reaches internal temp of 160, remove and cool.
* Reserve water ("broth") for the cream sauce.
* When cool, shred chicken with fingers/forks.
* Make biscuits from a mix.
* While they bake, make the cream sauce:

Cream Sauce
1/4 cup + 1 Tbls Rice Flour
1/4 Tbls Olive Oil
1 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 tsp pepper (optional)
at least 1 cup reserved water ("broth")
Rice Milk to make smooth, creamy sauce (may be more than 1 cup, depending on how much broth you use.)

Add shredded chicken to cream sauce and serve over biscuits.

Chicken Nuggets or Fried Fish

2-3 lbs raw chicken breast, cut in nugget-sized pieces OR fish filets

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp celery salt
3/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper
1 tsp baking soda

1 egg
2/3 cup Rice Milk

* Preheat 1 1/2 - 2 inches of canola & olive oils in electric skillet to 350F.
* Combine cornmeal, seasonings and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
* In separate bowl, whisk egg & rice milk.
* Place chicken or fish pieces first in egg/milk. Then place in seasoned cornmeal and cover with it.
* Gently place in electric skillet. Be sure no piece is touching another. Cover and cook several minutes until they turn crispy & brown. Remove lid and turn each piece.
* When chicken reaches internal temp of 160 or fish comes to 145, remove to rack covered with paper towels.
* Serve immediately or freeze each piece individually and store in freezer safe bag for up to 2 months.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Homemade Chicken Stock

There are so many recipes that call for Chicken Broth or Stock, and I can't find anything at the grocery store that I can use. So I've taken to making my own and freezing it in 4 cup quantities. It doesn't require a lot of work... mostly just time.

5 lb chicken with giblets
3 large carrots
3 large stalks celery
1 -2 bay leaves

Remove giblets from chicken, rinse, and place in 3 qt saucepan. Fill pan with cold water, cover and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 6 hours, checking liquid level every hour or so. Refill water during the first four hours. After 6 hours, remove from heat. Strain. Discard all solid material.

Clean and peel carrots and celery. Chop into 1 - 2 inch pieces.

Rinse chicken under cold water. Place in 8-quart stock pan. Fill pan with water. Add carrots, celery and bay leaves. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 6 hours. Refill water during first four hours. After six hours, remove from heat. Strain. Add strained giblet broth. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Allow to cool and skim fat from surface. Measure out four-cup portions and place in freezer bags.

Remove chicken meat from the bones and refrigerate. Should be used within three to five days or frozen. Keep in mind that it will shred, and its texture will be soft from cooking so long - not meat to use when you want a nice presentation (best for chicken salad or pot pie).

Vegetables can be discarded or used in a soup. They will be very mushy - but very flavorful!

Curried Chicken Stew

This was a very tasty stew I adapted. It didn't turn out very pretty, so I don't recommend it for a nice dinner. But when you want a savory stew on a chilly evening in the fall, it hits the spot!

3 cups butternut squash
1 1/2 cups white potatoes
1 1/2 cup sweet potatoes
4 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), divided
4 chicken breasts
1 cup homemade chicken broth
14 1/2 to 16 oz tomatoes with liquid (Pomi or Cento Crushed Tomatoes)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder (The Spice Hunter or Morton & Bassett)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro for serving

* Wash then peel squash and potatoes. Cut into 2 inch chunks. Place white potatoes in a pan of cool water.
* Cut chicken into 2 inch chunks.
* In a Dutch Oven pan, heat 1 1/2 Tbls EVOO on medium-high.
* Toss chicken in pan then sprinkle with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Cook through, stirring regularly.
* Remove chicken to plate.
* Heat the other 2 1/2 Tbls EVOO in Dutch Oven and toss squash and potatoes in oil. Saute for several minutes, stirring carefully to allow vegetables to brown, without sticking to the pan.
* Add chicken broth, tomatoes and seasonings. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until squash & potatoes are soft, but not mushy.
* Return chicken to pan. Adjust seasoning to taste.
* Serve hot and top with chopped, fresh cilantro.


After looking at dozens of recipes for granola, I discovered a very helpful "rule." In nearly every recipe I saw, I noted that there was a 7 to 1 ratio of dry ingredients to wet. In an effort to reduce fat and calories, I experimented and discovered that I could swing just 2/3 cup wet to 7 cups dry. Nevertheless, granola is highly caloric, and because the oats have not been soaked, they are very hard on the digestive system.

The following recipe is very basic Oat Granola. But if you want, you can substitute oats with a variety of other ingredients. Be creative! One thing to keep in mind - when adding dried fruit, it may be best to do so AFTER baking. But add nuts and seeds prior to baking. Depending on the flavor and texture you want, you can add coconut before or after baking.

Suggestions for additions:
* dried fruit (apples, raisins, pineapple, apricots, berries, mango, figs, dates, coconut)
* nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, pecans)
* seeds (flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds)

Also, depending on the flavor you want, you can try substituting different oils and sweeteners... like real maple syrup for the honey or use a nut oil instead of the coconut oil, if you like. Cinnamon can be omited, reduced or increased, depending on taste. During the holiday season, I like to reduce the cinnamon to 1 1/2 tsp and add 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger and 1 tsp of nutmeg.

So without further adoo, here is the basic granola recipe:

7 cups Rolled Oats
1/3 cup Honey
1/3 cup Coconut Oil
1 Tbls Cinnamon
1 Tbls Vanilla Extract

* Preheat oven to 350
* Combine all items in mixer
* Transfer to large jelly-roll baking pan and spread evenly across pan
* Bake for 8 minutes then turn granola over
* Bake for another 6 minutes
* Remove from oven, allow to cool on pan

Sweet Potato Muffins

These muffins are dense and usually fall once removed from the oven. But they are high in fiber and very tasty.

15 oz. sweet potato or canned pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup apple juice concentrate
4 lg eggs
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
1 cup ground flaxseed meal
1 cup oat bran
2 cups oat flour (place old fashioned oats in blender and puree until fine)

* In microwave oven, bake 1 extra large sweet potato for 12 - 15 minutes on high, turning over twice during baking. When soft all over, remove from microwave and peel.
* Preheat oven to 350.
* Grease 24 muffin cups with oil (or butter).
* In blender, puree sweet potato (or pumpkin) with applesauce and apple juice concentrate.
* Combine salt, soda, flaxseed meal, oat bran and oat flour in large mixing bowl.
* In mixer, whip eggs with honey and spices. Add sweet potato/applesauce/juice mixture and mix well.
* Add dry ingredients one cup at a time.
* Immediately fill muffin cups and place in center rack of oven.
* Bake for 12 minutes or until toothpick in center muffins comes out clean.
* Remove muffins to rack immediately to cool.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Foods to Avoid for the Migraine Sufferer

Here is the "Diet for the Headache Patient" that I received from my doctor. I'll also try to post my "Foods I Can Eat List" for easy reference to the ingredients you'll find in my recipes.

Foods to Avoid:
Beverages - Alcoholic (wine, beer, ale, liquor), Buttermilk, Chocolate Milk. Caffeine sources to be limited to 2 cups daily including coffee, tea and sodas. Avoid all alcoholic beverages if possible. If you must drink, no more than two normal-sized drinks. Suggested drinks: Haute Sauterne, Riesling wine, Seagram's VO, Cutty Sark, vodka.

Dairy Products - Aged and processed cheese including cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, brick, Brie, Camembert, Gouda, Gruyere, Emmentaler, Stilton, Provolone, Roquefort, bleu, and cheese-containing foods (pizza, mac & cheese, chips, etc), and sour cream. Yogurt can be eaten in 1/2 cup portions or less.

Meat & Meat Substitutes - Aged, canned, cured or processed meats, those containing nitrates or nitrites, commercial meat extracts, pickled or dried herring, chicken livers, sausage, salami, pepperoni, bologna, frankfurters, pates, peanuts and peanut butter, marinated meats, any prepared with meat tenderizers, soy sauce or yeast extracts

Bread and Bread Substitutes - Homemade yeast breads, fresh coffee cake, doughnuts, yeast and yeast extracts, sourdough breads, breads and crackers containing cheese, any containing chocolate or nuts

Fruits - Canned figs, raisins, papaya, passion fruit, avocado, red plum. Citrus fruits limited to 1/2 cup serving per day. 1/2 banana allowed per day.

Vegetables - Italian broad beans, Fava beans, Lima beans, navy beans, pea pods, sauerkraut, onions (except for flavoring)

Desserts - Any with chocolate or yeast raised desserts

Miscellaneous - Brewer's yeast, chocolate, soy sauce, monosodium glutamate, meat tenderizers, papaya products, Accent, Lawry's and other seasoned salts, soup cubes, canned soups, frozen TV dinners, some snack items and instant foods, autolyzed and hydrolyzed proteins and/or extracts. Read all labels. White vinegar and commercial salad dressings can be used in small amounts.

Friday, April 6, 2007

On The Menu

Here is a list of some of the foods I plan to feature in upcoming posts...

Baking: biscuits, breads, desserts, muffins
Breakfast: french toast casserole, pancakes, quiche
Fish: baked tilapia, grilled salmon
Meats: sausage, venison tenderloin
Pasta: lasagna, sausage penne & spinach with cheese
Poultry: cabbage "lasagna", chicken fried rice, creamed chicken over biscuits, risotto-style chicken with spinach, stir fry
Salsas: black bean & corn salsa; tomato & cilantro salsa
Soups: chicken stock, black bean, minestrone, sweet potato & butternut squash
Squash: acorn, butternut, spaghetti
Starches: quinoa, rice - baked, brown, wild, pilaf
Vegetables: sauteed spinach

And a start on a few brands I use:
Friendship brand Cottage Cheese
Gaerlick Farms Heavy Cream
Trader Joe's Organic Brown Rice Pasta
Whole Foods Organic Corn Tortillas

Migraine-Friendly/Gluten-Free Cooking

Ever since I was three years old, I can clearly recall dizzy spells accompanied by nausea after eating and on overcast days. As a child and teenager, my symptoms usually became especially difficult during the early fall. Although I mentioned this to doctors at annual physicals, no one had an explanation. Symptoms increased over time until I was 27. It was the summer before I got married, and it seemed like no matter what I ate, I got sick.

Finally, at the urging of a good friend, I saw a neurologist. Diagnosis: migraines. The doc sent me home with a Foods To Avoid list which included, among other things, caffeine, chocolate, cheese, dried fruit, peanuts, and yeast. I think I was 15 when I last consumed caffeine on a regular basis. And chocolate went when I was 25. I immediately removed the rest of those items from my diet and began to see improvement. Over time, I found other things that my system couldn't handle - preservatives, additives, even "natural" products (like xantham, guar and carob bean gums along with carageenan and natural flavors). Probably the biggest improvement came when I finally stopped eating sugar and sugar-substitutes.

My husband came into our marriage with his own set of food intolerances/allergies. Having struggled with asthma since childhood, he hadn't really considered that a change in diet might improve his symptoms. I can't remember when, but in the middle of a conversation with some friends, he mentioned having been tested for allergies. Wheat had come up positive. No wonder he was so miserable - I had been baking bread for him and making muffins and desserts... As I started reading on the subject, I wondered if I should just stop using anything with gluten in our home. Thus began a new world of trial and error in the kitchen!

Now the reality is that Ben and I love food - GOOD food - delicious flavors and tempting textures. But I can no longer just follow a recipe. Most call for a host of ingredients that don't agree with one or both of us. So I've taken to adapting or concocting. And my husband has asked me for a long time to share my "recipes" with others. The time has finally come.

In days to come, I hope to share ideas and recipes along with the brands and stores where I find products that I can enjoy. Unfortunately, I have to read labels EVERY TIME I grocery shop. Sometimes manufacturers change their recipes but don't make it obvious except on the ingredients list. So what I might note this month as "migraine-friendly" may become "unfriendly" next month. I'll try to post any changes as soon as I become aware of them.

So here's to enjoyable eating in spite of a limited diet!