Friday, January 31, 2014

Butternut squash cream on chard

Nika (left) and Misha (right) go urban mushing with Ritalin Boy
What do you think of my two urban mushers? My pups, Nika (red malamute) and Misha (black/white husky) are learning to become mushers without snow. In the picture, above, they are pulling Ritalin Boy (RB-hubby) while he pilots a Diggler, a mountain bike scooter designed for urban mushing.

Talk about doggie and Ritalin Boy nirvana. The pups can run at high speed while RB gets an adrenalin rush. I have been helping with the training from the sidelines. I get the fur kids in their harnesses, help hitch them up, walk alongside the Diggler, help with commands and untangling the fur kids when they don't show the best cooperation. Yes, they have a long way to go on learning to cooperate. Once they are better trained, I will hop on board the Diggler.

Sheree hitches up the mushers
Chard with butternut squash cream
After some urban mushing, the pooches are ready for food, food, food. For that matter, so am I. Recently, I cooked up some delicious chard, topped with a butternut squash cream. It makes the perfect side or main dish, if you add a protein of your choice. I have modified the dish slightly since I first made it because I am experimenting with the FODMAPs protocol. Onions and coconut milk are not allowed for awhile. Butternut squash is allowed in small quantities.

Here's what you need for two servings:

1 bunch of chard
1 cup cooked butternut squash
salt and pepper
1 T. olive oil
Optional: 1/2 onion, sliced
1/4 cup lite coconut milk

Here's what you do:

Chop your chard into bite-sized pieces. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Saute chard (with optional onion) until tender. Add a bit of water or broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Make your butternut cream. Put squash with coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk) in a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

To serve, plate up chard and top with desired amount of squash cream. (Save the butternut squash skins as a treat for the hungry pooches.)

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, January 24, 2014

Carrot cake fudge

Crunchy (left) and creamy (right) carrot-cake fudge
Let's hear it for two kinds of carrot-cake fudge!

Vote for your favorite. I vote for both!

Yummy, yummy!
Here's what you need for the creamy version:

3 carrots, peeled, diced, steamed and pureed
sweetener of choice, to taste
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut butter
2 T. coconut oil

Here's what you do for the creamy version:

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Line a mini-loaf pan with parchment paper and spoon in fudge. Place in fridge for several hours to firm. Cut into pieces of desired size. Make your eyes and tummy happy by eating a piece.

Here's what you need for the crunchy version:

1 carrot, grated and steamed until tender
2 T. coconut flakes
1/4 cup coconut butter
1 T. coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
Sweetener of choice, to taste

"We vote for both kinds too. We love carrots!"
Here's what you do:

Line a mini-loaf pan with parchment paper. Soften the coconut butter and oil. Mix with carrots, sweetener, cinnamon and coconut flakes. Spoon mixture into mini-loaf pan. Firm up for 30 minutes in fridge. Cut into pieces.

Recipe contributed to:

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Asian veggie noodle bowl

A hug, Nika-style
Anyone want a hug from my 100-pound malamute, Nika?

Asian veggie noodle bowl, AIP
Maybe you'd also like a nourishing bowl of veggie noodles with a little bit of Asian fusion thrown in.This dish has become my favorite "fast-food" dinner. It's filled with great flavor, easy-to-make and fills the bill for the AIP and FODMAPs diets, which I have been experimenting with in recent weeks.

Here's what you need for 2 servings:

2 medium carrots, peeled
2 medium zucchini, trimmed
 2-3 cups kale leaves
3-4 bok choy leaves with stems
handful of fresh cilantro leaves
3 green onions, only the green parts
1-2-inch piece of gingerroot (amount depends on how much you like ginger)
1+ T. coconut aminos
1+ T. olive oil or coconut oil
 salt and pepper
1 cup chicken, cut into small pieces, or use tofu, if vegetarian/vegan
1/2 cup lemon spaghetti squash sauce for topping (see recipe here: )

Here's what you do:

Heat a large skillet with olive oil or coconut oil. Saute chicken (or optional tofu-not allowed for AIP) pieces until cooked. Remove chicken to a bowl and keep warm.

Prepare your veggies. Julienne slice carrots, zucchini and bok choy stems, lengthwise, into long thin pieces. Cut in half. Remove kale from stems (discard stems) and chop leaves into bite-size pieces. Peel the gingerroot and julienne slice. Dice green onion (green part only for FODMAPs).

Reheat the skillet. Add more oil, if needed. Steam the kale until tender. Set aside. Next, stir fry the carrot, bok choy, zucchini and ginger until somewhat tender. Add coconut aminos and continue stir-frying until veggies are tender-crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken, the green onion pieces and cilantro and cook until heated.

Serve veggie noodles on a bed of kale in a large bowl. Top with more coconut aminos and a dollop of lemon spaghetti squash sauce which, I guess, makes this kind of a fusion meal.

Recipe contributed to:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Zucchini noodles with lemony squash sauce

"You can't resist me. Can you?"
 My tummy is getting a little happier these days, thanks to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) with a bit of the FODMAPs diet thrown in.
"We don't like onions either, Mom."
 It's amazing how long a journey to wellness can take. The candida diet lead me to the AIP diet which lead me to the FODMAPs. On my FODMAPs journey, I have discovered that onions may be a culprit for me. They are one of the top 10 foods, containing inulin, and require an enzyme to break their fructose-fructose bond.
Zucchini noodles with lemony squash sauce
 I recently made the most delicious meal---zucchini noodles with a heavenly lemony squash sauce---onions optional.
 Here's what you need for two servings:

2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
2 medium carrots, peeled, ends trimmed
3 large kale stalks, leaves removed
1 tsp. herbes de provence
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 small delicata squash
1 tsp. lemon zest, divided
juice of 1 lemon, divided
1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

 Here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice delicata squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Drizzle squash halves with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lay squash halves, cut side down,  on a small baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Roast for 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Allow to cool.

Prepare your zucchini and carrot ribbons. Use a potato peeler. Working lengthwise, peel off ribbons of zucchini and carrot as if you were peeling a potato.  You won't be able to use the entire zucchini or carrot. Wrap up the extra to use in a soup or salad at a later time.

Spread the zucchini and carrot ribbons on a large, parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the ribbons are slightly crispy. Remove and set aside.

Steam your kale in a large skillet with olive oil and a tiny bit of water. Cook until tender. Then, add one half of the lemon juice and zest, salt and pepper, to taste. Toss.

Meanwhile, reserve 1/2 of the squash for another meal. Scoop out the flesh of the other half, discard the skin (Or feed it to your poor starving pooches. Mine love anything squash.) and add the flesh to a food processor. Add the 1/2 tsp. lemon zest, half the lemon juice, coconut milk, salt and pepper, herbes de provence and blend.

Get ready to assemble your meal.

Start with a generous serving of lemony kale on the bottom. Pile on a helping of zucchini and carrot noodles. Spoon on some of the lemony squash creme. Serve with a side of some kind of protein.

Recipe contributed to:

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Veggie breakfast hash

Nika, the malamute, and Bailey, the cat, conspire to takeover my computer.
I love veggies and fruits but not all veggies/fruits love me. That's why I have added the FODMAPs diet to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.  FODMAPs is basically a diet that limits but does not eliminate foods that contain: lactose, fructose, fructans, galactans and sugar alcohols. These compounds are not tolerated by individuals who lack the enzymes to digest them. See this link for more information:

Garden veggie breakfast (or anytime) hash
As I read over the FODMAPs diet information, everything about my problem with veggies and fruits made sense to me. I don't have the necessary enzymes to digest them which creates numerous digestive problems for me and leads to bacterial overgrowth. In some cases, you can eat just a small quantity of the high FODMAPs foods without having any problem.

If you eat too many high FODMAPs foods in one meal, you probably will pay for it if you are sensitive. I can attest to that. I recently made a delicious veggie breakfast hash (or anytime hash) that was loaded with veggies. I was trying to copy a dish I had seen at a local restaurant. Unfortunately, it contained five high FODMAPs vegetables. Boy, did I enjoy it until a few hours later when the digestive distress hit.

If you don't have any problem with cauliflower, beets, onions, avocado or artichokes, you're going to love this dish. But the great thing is you can substitute other veggies, make it vegetarian or add meat. I used cauliflower mash for the base but another possibility is sweet potato mash or even diced roasted sweet potatoes.

Garden veggie mash with ground turkey
Here's what you need:

2-3 cups spinach
2-3 leaves kale, torn into small pieces
1/2 avocado, diced
optional: garlic, to taste (also high FODMAPs)
1/2 onion, sliced
6 artichokes hearts
2 zucchini, diced
1-2 T. olive oil
1/4 cauliflower, steamed and pureed with coconut milk
protein of choice: diced tofu, ground turkey, egg are possibilities

Here's what you do:

Make your cauliflower mash for the base. Steam the cauliflower, cut into florets, about 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Toss the cauliflower florets into your food processor with salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup coconut milk. Process until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet with 1-2 T. olive oil. Saute the onion until soft. Add the diced zucchini, artichoke hearts and continue sauteeing until tender. Finally, toss in the kale-spinach mix. Cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. After plating up your hash, garnish with diced avocado.

"Mom will never suspect a thing. We even turned off the computer."
This hash makes a great breakfast for the AIP diet. But you can eat it anytime. It's also easily modified for the FODMAPs diet. The next time I make it I will use just 1/4 avocado, FODMAPs recommended. I might try spaghetti squash for the base.

Recipe contributed to: