Friday, June 27, 2014

Seared cauliflower steaks with chard, asparagus and shrimp

I pedaled my bike to the farmer's market and came back with some yummy produce. I incorporated a lot of it into my Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Chard, Asparagus and Shrimp. I got the idea for this recipe from chef Ryan Scott of the LiveWell Network.

The original (sounded delicious) recipe had seared cauliflower steaks with crispy quinoa, golden raisins, hazelnuts, watercress and sherry dressing. I have to avoid most of the ingredients but maybe you don't so here's the link:

Here's how I made my version. Oh, I have to weigh my carbohydrates so I am including how many grams I used.
First you will need:
1 T. apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
2 tsp. dijon mustard
2 T. olive oil
1 cauliflower steak, slice of cauliflower 1/2-inch thick (80 grams)
6-8 shrimp
2 cups mixed greens (80 grams)
1 stalk of Swiss Chard (80 grams)
1/2 cup zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces (80 grams)
1 radish, cut into matchsticks (20 grams)
Few baby kale leaves (10 grams)
3 stalks asparagus, cut into 1-2-inch pieces (40 grams)
small handful of microgreens, baby greens cut from the garden

Here are the directions:

Whisk vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Set dressing aside.

In a medium saucepan, blanch cauliflower in boiling water for three minutes. Remove from the pot. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat and sear cauliflower until golden brown on both sides (Note: This is the best way I have ever eat cauliflower). Remove from the skillet. Season with salt and pepper.

In the same skillet, heat some additional olive oil and saute the zucchini, chard, kale and asparagus. Finally, saute your shrimp.

Toss mixed greens, sauteed veggies and shrimp with the vinaigrette. Arrange veggie/shrimp mixture around the cauliflower steak on a plate. Spoon on additional vinaigrette. Garnish with microgreens if you have some in your garden. I simply clipped off the tender leaves of baby lettuces, kale, beets and chard from plants growing in the garden.

Recipe submitted to:

Friday, June 20, 2014

Recycled can makes kitchen tool for layered salad entree

Layered salad entree made with recycled can
A recycled can helped me turn my everyday salad with veggies and miscellaneous ingredients into something artistic and delicious.

 Start by saving and washing one 12-16 ounce can, and removing the top and bottom. Save either the top or bottom. Remove the label from the can. Line the can with a piece of parchment paper.

New kitchen gadget, ready to help create a layered entree
Layered entrees yummy and easy to make

Shop fur kids (l-r): Bailey, Nika, Misha
You can use your can to make just about any kind of layered entree. Choose whatever ingredients you want but you will need some foods that are a bit sticky, the goo so to speak to hold things together. Here are some ideas: pureed squash or cauliflower , rice, eggs, farmer's cheese, lactose-free yogurt, shrimp or other protein such as tofu or seed/nut butters, lettuce greens, micro-greens, sprouts, sauteed veggies of choice. You also could try pureed sweet potatoes or hummus. I can't eat these but they are gooey.

Here's what I  used for one entree:
2 T. farmer's cheese
1 egg yolk, over easy
Sauteed veggies including:1 stalk bok choy, chopped; 1/2 cup zucchini matchsticks;1 T. diced red pepper; and 2 T. diced carrot
1-2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 avocado, mashed
2 T. microgreens or sprouts
2 handfuls lettuce greens
6 shrimp, chopped
 Here's what you do:

 Prepare your can as shown above. Place the can on your serving plate. Begin layering in your ingredients. Start with something gooey for the bottom. I used the mashed avocado. The possibilities are endless. Mashed veggies such as squash, sweet potato and beans work well but some of these are off limits for the SIBO diet.

The trick is layering in something gooey every third layer. I went guacamole, sauteed veggies, shrimp, farmer's cheese, sauteed veggies, egg, shrimp, farmer's cheese.

Place the lid on top of your layers and press down to firm everything up. Carefully push down on the lid to slide the salad out of the can. It should end up perfectly layered on your plate.

 I garnished with microgreens and arranged lettuce greens around the inverted salad.

Recipe contributed to:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Chocolate ganache mini pies with strawberries

Strawberry ganache mini pies with strawberries

Yummy, luscious strawberries are in season, and they are so wonderful! I guess you can tell I love strawberries.

Unfortunately, they have a high fermentation potential (FP) because of the types of sugars they contain. Like most fruit, they can be malabsorbed providing food for the growth of bad bacteria in the gut. They are low in calories but individuals with irritable bowel syndrome need to look at FP. About 6 small strawberries have an FP of 6, and I need to keep my daily FP 20-25 until more of my symptoms resolve.

Sigh. I have strawberries infrequently which makes them a super special treat. Now, if you add chocolate or nuts or seeds to the mix, you have increased the FP yet again. It doesn't mean I can't still have these ingredients but I have to watch my portion size and what else I eat during the day, kind of like saving up FP points.

I'm making Chocolate Ganache Mini Pies with Strawberries for Father's Day. Individuals, like hubby, can eat a whole mini pie and garnish with tons of strawberries, if they like. I will stick with a mini, mini portion, topped with two strawberries.

Bailey gives my bike a safety check while on his new cat tree.
 Here's what you need for 2 chocolate ganache mini pies with strawberries:

For the crust:
4 T. almond flour or substitute sunflower seed flour if allergic to nuts
3 T. melted coconut oil
dash of cinnamon
1 T. cocoa powder
powdered stevia, to taste, or other desired sweetener

For the ganache:
2 T. melted coconut oil
2 T.. sunbutter or almond butter
1 T. cocoa powder
1-2 T. soymilk or other alternative dairy beverage
vanilla stevia, to taste, or other sweetener of choice

For the topping:
Strawberries, as many as you want

Here's what you do:

Mix almond or sunflower seed flower with cocoa, cinnamon, melted coconut oil and stevia. Divide the mixture and press into two mini tart pans with removeable bottoms. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up the crusts.

 Next, mix up the ganache. Combine melted coconut oil with sunbutter. Stir in the cocoa and stevia. Add the soy or other milk and stir into a thickened chocolate mixture.

Spoon an equal amount of the ganache into each mini tart pan. Top with strawberries and serve.

 Recipe contributed to:

Friday, June 6, 2014

Asparagus and artichoke salad, and ways to fix digestive problems

Bailey, the cat, teases Nika, the malamute, from his safety zone.
Have you noticed how complicated we humans seems to make things? As an example, my husband developed a red rash on his arms that wouldn't clear up. He started thinking allergy to hand soap or detergent or hand lotion or some mysterious illness or skin disorder.

The cause was really quite simple to figure out. Every day, he was cutting fresh grass to feed to his horse as a treat. She loved the tasty snack but hubby's skin had developed contact dermatitis to grass, which has microscopic barbs that can result in an allergic reaction. The easy solution was he started wearing long sleeves when cutting the grass and the rash disappeared.

Digestive problems aren't quite so easy to figure out but sometimes, there is something that we overlook.  I have always been a fast eater. As I have dashed about my busy day, eating has taken second place to every thing else. I've heard and ignored recommendations that you should chew your food slowly until each bite basically resembles a paste before you swallow.

Recently, I decided to really get serious about the slow chewing process to see if it would help when added to what I already do. I am taking digestive supplements (HCL-pepsin, digestive enzymes), eating easy-to-digest carbohydrates and seeing some benefit. But I'm still not getting the relief I want.

Eureka! Chewing slowly and turning each mouthful of food into a fine paste actually helped. Yes, meals take a lot longer to consume, sometimes as much as an hour but it makes a difference.

Here are some important lessons I've learned in the past few months:

  • Chew slowly, take your time with each meal, swallow only when the food is a fine paste.
  • You need to chew each bite for about 20 seconds.
  • Take some additional time before getting the next bite.
  • Measure and weigh your carbohydrates. Eat hard-to-digest (high glycemic) ones in very small quantities.
  • Take digestive bitters, either before or after meals.  I prefer to take mine after breakfast and dinner. I take one teaspoon of Swedish Digestive Bitters, alcohol free.
  • Don't eat after 8 p.m. Eating earlier gives you more time to digest food before becoming less active as the evening wears on.
Artichoke, asparagus and shrimp salad with cucumber dressing

I continue to eat lots of salads. My latest creation is an Asparagus, Artichoke and Shrimp Salad. My recipe is a remake of one I saw on the Steven and Chris Show on the LiveWell Network.

Here's what you need for one salad:

1/2 cucumber (for dressing)
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. Eden mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
drop of liquid stevia, if desired
6 very thinly sliced cucumber rounds
3 blanched asparagus spears, cut into one-inch pieces
5-6 cooked shrimp
2 artichoke quarters, steamed
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 small zucchini, cut into matchstick pieces, and steamed
2 large handfuls mixed greens
1 T. shredded carrot

Here's what you do:

Make the cucumber dressing: combine 1/2 peeled cucumber, vinegar, dill, mustard, stevia, salt and pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside to chill in the fridge.

Steam your asparagus spears, artichokes and zucchini. Plunge into ice water to cool off. If desired, saute your zucchini pieces or serve raw.

Assemble your salad. Arrange cucumber rounds in a circle on a plate. Toss greens, shrimp and other veggies with desired amount of cucumber dressing. Garnish with shredded carrot.

Recipe contributed to: