Friday, July 18, 2008

Cod with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

I'm pretty much back to normal after my run-in (allergic reaction) to antibiotics with sulfonomides. A friend of mine in the medical field warned me to never take them again because a second reaction would be even worse. I told her not to worry. Even a nice cash bonus for taking them would not entice me a second time.

I did find some absolutely delish vegan mayo that I've been using on everything. It's that good. I've tried other vegan mayos before but nothing compares to Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise. I used my newly discovered "safe" mayo to make a sun-dried tomato topping for cod fillets. You'll love this recipe both for its delicious taste and simplicity of making. And it's all safe for individuals with IBS or other digestive issues.

Cod with Sun-Dried Tomatoes (served with Roasted Potato and Asparagus Salad)

Ingredients for Cod:
1 pound cod fillets
8 sun-dried tomato halves, not oil-packed
1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil Vegenaise (or other vegan mayo)
2 T. chopped parsley
1/8 tsp. pepper

Ingredients for Roasted Potato and Asparagus Salad:
6 medium red potatoes, cut into quarters
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
8-10 chopped sun-dried tomatoes
8-10 chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease or spray two glass baking dishes or other oven pans. Soak tomato halves in 1 cup boiling water for about 5 minutes or until softened. Drain and finely chop. Reserve for later. Toss potatoes with 1 T. olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread on a baking pan and bake until golden brown, 30-40 minutes. Steam asparagus pieces in boiling water for about 4 minutes or until tender. In a large bowl, mix vinegar, mustard, 1 T. olive oil. Add potatoes and drained asparagus pieces. Toss to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup of the sun-dried tomatoes, olives and basil. Set aside.

Place fish on pan and bake for 8 minutes. In the meantime, mix the remaining sun-dried tomatoes with 1/4 cup vegan mayo, parsley and pepper. Remove fish and spread some of the sun-dried tomato topping on each fillet. Reserve any extra for serving with the fish. Bake the fish 4 minutes longer or until topping is light brown and fish flakes easily with fork.

Serve fish alongside a bed of wilted greens topped with potato salad and roasted broccoli spears. Yum! Even a fish skeptic will love this dish.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Salmon burgers

An allergic reaction to medicine is no fun as I found out last week. I reacted to an antibiotic, Trimetho/sulfamethox, which contained sulfonamides, with an all-over skin rash, stomach problems and heart irregularities. What fun! I was sick for about five days before I returned to "normal." I was taking the antibiotics for a sinus infection, fortunately the antibiotics did their job on it before doing a number of me. It surprised me to discover that most reactions occur between 8-10 days of taking an antibiotic. And here I thought I was safe.

I didn't have much energy but I really wanted salmon burgers for some reason. I propped myself up in the kitchen and went to work. It was worth it. Here's the recipe.

Salmon Burgers with Dill Potatoes and Cabbage Slaw
(Serves 2)
For the salmon burgers:
2 salmon fillets, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Egg replacer for one egg
1 T. fish sauce
1/2 tsp. g/f hot sauce
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 T. fresh ginger, minced
1 shallot minced
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp. chopped fresh mint
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
Olive oil for cooking

Place the salmon in a food processor and pulse until minced. Put the salmon into a bowl and add the egg replacer, fish sauce, hot sauce, garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon juice, cilantro, mint, salt and pepper, and quinoa. Fold the mixture together. Using lightly oiled hands, form the salmon mixture into 3-4 patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours. In the meantime, prepare cabbage slaw and roasted dill potatoes.

To pan fry, add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium high heat. Cook 2 salmon burgers at a time. Cook about 7 minutes total, turning half-way through. Serve with chilled cabbage slaw and oven-roasted potatoes.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mediterranean Chicken with Olives

Antibiotics can really do a number on your digestive system as many of those who have taken them know. I am on my third round of antibiotics to clear up a sinus infection. You'd think with my stomach issues that I'd be experiencing severe digestive distress at this point. But I have been shocked and amazed that my stomach hasn't had a reaction. I attribute it to avoiding my trigger foods with a vengeance and taking probiotics with every meal. I don't want to push my luck so I am hopeful that a few more days of antibiotics and my sinus infection will be history.

I was craving something Mediterranean for dinner this evening after I picked fresh arrugula in my garden. I don't know why arrugula made me think Greek food but it did. I came up with a recipe, called Mediterranean Chicken with Olives, that contains lots of my favorites: artichokes, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives. You can sprinkle some feta cheese on top as well if you can tolerate cheese. I used the arrugula in a wilted arrugula/spinach/red onion salad.

Mediterranean Chicken with Olives
(serves 2)


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup red wine

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup red wine vinegar

2 T. oregano

6 sprigs fresh thyme with leaves removed

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. sea salt

2 T. chopped Kalamata olives

2 T. agave nectar

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 can quartered artichokes

6-8 grape tomatoes, halved

feta cheese (optional)


In a large skillet, heat 1 -2 T. olive oil. Saute garlic. Add chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper. Brown on both sides. Then add oregano, thyme, red wine, red wine vinegar, additional olive oil, olives, agave nectar, lemon juice. Reduce the liquids down about half by cooking on medium high heat. Add in the artichokes and grape tomatoes. Heat well. Reduce temperature and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve chicken topped with artichokes, grape tomato sauce. Sprinkle with feta cheese if tolerated.

Make it a complete Mediterranean meal by serving the chicken on top of a bed of cooked quinoa (my substitute for coucous) with garlicky green beans and wilted arrugula/spinach/red onion salad as side dishes. Make the green beans by steaming fresh or frozen green beans. Chop up two garlic cloves and add to a skillet with a little olive oil. Saute the garlic and then toss in the beans and a can of sliced water chestnuts, drained. Mix the ingredients. Drizzle on bit more olive oil and squeeze on a little lemon juice.