Monday, November 18, 2013

Foods That Don't Have Folic Acid (Folate)

On rare occasion you may find yourself prescribed a low folate (folic acid) diet perhaps after mtx treatment. While this doesn't seem like a big deal to cope with - you soon find that folic acid is in almost everything - especially on a vegetarian diet. Here is an accounting of some food ideas for when you can not eat folic acid.

  • Apples - while very nutritious apples do not have folic acid (one of the few fruits that you can eat on a low folate diet)
  • Cheese - not so low-fat but an oked food on the low folic acid diet
  • Potato Chips - most regular potato chips have zero or very low folic acid
  • Potatoes - guess what the plain old potatoes also should have zero folic acid
  • Greek Yogurt - well I guess regular yogurt too - but who likes that drippy stuff :) - yogurts often have no folic acid - though make sure you arent adding in ingredients high in folate like black cherries or other fruits or nuts or grains
  • Chocolate - have at it - no folic acid to fear here
  • Beverages - including soda, apple juice, water, coffee, and milk
  • Tofu - unless fortified with folic acid should have zero folate
  • Beef / Chicken / Pork - for you carnivores you should have much less trouble on this diet
  • Sweets - most candy and sugar sweets are zero on the folic acid scale

If you find yourself on this diet - good luck - I never thought I would get sick of cheese - but after only two days on this diet I could go a long time without it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

General Tso's Chicken

My sweet sweet husband has one really sweet habit that makes me crazy sometimes. Every single time he goes to any restaurant he has a particular thing that he always gets. For instance - if we go to any Chinese restaurant he will get General Tsos Chicken; if we go to any Thai restaurant he will get Chicken Pad Thai; if we go to Winners he gets the Birdie Sandwich... every every dang time. I want to break his OCD and every time hope he will try something new - "here doesn't this look good?" at which point he always takes it into consideration and when it is time to order goes back to his old standby. Every every dang time. So yes - I see it as a challenge to expand his horizons - but yes I also find it absolutely adorable how faithful he is to his choices. So... it was only fitting that I find a recipe to make my sweet sweet husband General Tso Chicken. I made one version vegetarian with fake chicken and one with real chicken breast.

  • 1C veggie broth
  • 2T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1T chopped fresh ginger
  • 2t rice vinegar
  • 2t sweetener
  • 1t curry paste
  • 2T Franks sweet and spicy hot sauce
  • 2T evoo
  • 1 package of boneless chicken breast (or 1 bag fake chicken strips)
  • 1 handful of green onions
  • half package of frozen broccoli
  1. Mix broth, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, sweetener, and curry in a bowl until it is well blended and put aside for a while
  2. Saute the chicken in evoo in a pan until heated through - remove from pan and put in a plate for a while
  3. Pour broth mixture in to pan and simmer until it thickens a bit
  4. Place chicken, green onions, and broccoli back into pan and coat with sauce until cooked through
  5. Serve over rice (though if you skip the rice and franks sauce this works for stage 1 south beach diet)

How to Make Quick Pickles - Quickles

This past week I journeyed with my dashing groom, my snuggly prince, and my mother-in-law on a road trip through the South. We visited family in North Carolina, stayed at a cabin in the Mountains, hiked waterfalls, climbed through caves, braved mile high swinging bridges, visited a winery, visited fort sumter, savannah riverfront, and even stayed a night in Charleston with BT's cousins. While there I got to taste some quickles cousin Michelle made that she found a recipe from TheShiksa. I couldn't quite get them off of my mind and bugged her until she sent me a link to the recipe before I even arrived home. Well - after a whole day home I ran to Publix and bought what I needed - or what I could find that I needed. Here is my slightly tweaked version of the recipe.

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 fist full of fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf or a shake of dried
  • 1/2 tsp of whole peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of dill seeds (not dill weeds - i ended up finding it at walmart after a couple stores I checked didnt)
  • a couple shakes of red crushed pepper
  • a shake of celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp of fennel seed
  • 8 small cucumbers (without the wax coating)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp course salt
  • 1 mason jar
  1. Put slices of garlic into a pan with water and let it boil for one minute to blanch the garlic (this keeps the garlic from turning blue in the soaking. After boiling for one minute drain the garlic.
  2. Add garlic, all spices (except salt), and cucumbers into the mason jar. The cukes will likely have to be squished to fit but after the soaking they will shrink so should be easier to get out.

  3. Boil the vinegar and water and salt in a saucepan until salt is gone and about one minute after
  4. Use a funnel if you have one - and pour the solution over the cucumbers until they are covered.
  5. Let the jar cool off before closing with the jar top and sticking it into the fridge.
  6. After about two days of soaking you can take them out to eat, but the longer you wait - the tastier they will turn out to be.
  7. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

BBQ Tofu Pasta

So I was looking for new ways to enjoy tofu and found a recipe that involved grilling the tofu chunks and then pouring barbecue sauce on top. I decided to take this and mod and created the recipe below. It was awesome and we enjoyed it for dinner and then leftovers for days.

  • tofu
  • red and green bell peppers
  • mushrooms
  • garlic
  • bbq sauce
  • shells pasta

  1. saute tofu in evoo in pan until crispy
  2. sauce peppers, mushrooms, and garlic in another pan until soft
  3. combine both pans and boil water for pasta
  4. drain cooked pasta and add to pan with veggies and tofu
  5. pour bbq sauce of your choice over the concoction until it is covered and mix
  6. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Vegetarian Tex Mex Casserole

So a craving for ground crumbles took over me this week and I bought a bunch of bags of the Boca variety while at publix this week. Too bad they werent on bogo. I decided I was going to make this casserole, some vegetarian cincinatti chili, and who knows what else. So anyhow, we made this last night. The boys tore it up. And I thoroughly got my craving satisfied. Here is the recipe I came up with - try it, enjoy it, share it, mod it.. :)

  • veggie crumbles
  • rigatoni
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1/2 vidalia onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • a little cheddar
  • rotel
  • chili pepper
  • red pepper (or berbere if you are a berbere addict like me)
  • salt and pepper
  1. boil pasta and set aside
  2. pre-heat oven to 350
  3. in a pan saute the garlic and onions in evoo until onion is translucent
  4. add crumbles, corn, rotel, and black beans until heated thoroughly
  5. add soup and spices and cook until warm
  6. mix pasta into pan
  7. move to casserole and sprinkle a little bit of cheddar over the top
  8. cook in oven for 12-16 minutes depending on your oven
  9. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Scoopy Baggles.

This is a simplest way to make a mini pizza with as few ingredients that you can. Cooking time - 2 minutes.
For this one, I used just some bagles, an Italian cheese mix, and random pasta sauce.
I usually toast the bagles, if they are soggy, just to make the crusts a bit sturdier. But don't overtoast it, because scooping out will be kind of a pain.
After the bagles are ready, scoop out the bread.
I save the bread for squirrels/birds. After the scooping is done, fill it up with pasta cause and cheese.
 Once filled, pop the bagles into the microwave. Mine takes about 45-50 seconds to become a melty cheezy goodness. Cool them off and ready to nom!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Mint Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

The fact that my husband has a sweet tooth will not be a surprise to my readers, as is my continuous search for healthier alternatives for him. Perhaps his greatest temptation is Ice Cream. His two favorite flavors are Mint Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Anything. I decided to knock one of those out this week with an idea I found on Pinterest.

  • 18oz chocolate chunk vanilla low fat chobani greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 5 drops green food coloring
  1. Mix all ingredients together until all yogurt is evenly green
  2. Put plastic cap back on and place in freezer
  3. Freeze for 3-4 hours or until appropriately frozen
  4. If frozen overnight place in fridge for an hour to soften
  5. When you serve, mix it up a bit so its not icey but smooth
  6. Enjoy

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spiced Pork Chops & Mango Salsa

Rare is the day that I touch meat. But every once in a while I have to get down and dirty in animal flesh for my boys. So when I saw that Publix had pork chops on BOGO this week I decided to make it happen. I found some recipes and tweaked them to our taste.

Pork Chops
  • pork chops
  • allspice
  • berbere
  • salt & pepper
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • honey
  • evoo
  • balsamic vinegar

Mango Salsa
  • 2 diced mangoes
  • mint
  • chives
  • lemon rind
  • lemon juice
  • stevia
  • red pepper

  1. slice tofu, dry, and marinate in allspice, bebere, rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of honey, evoo and balsamic in the fridge for a few hours 
  2. chop mangoes and mix with mint, chives, rind, juice, stevia, and red pepper to taste 
  3. saute tofu in nonstick pan until crispy 
  4. serve with salsa drizzled over

Tofu with Mango Salsa

I was looking for a good pork chops recipe and decided to try the same method from the pork chops on my tofu. It was outstanding and plateLickWorthy.

tofu filet

  • tofu
  • allspice
  • berbere (or crushed red pepper if you don't have berbere)
  • salt & pepper
  • rosemary
  • basil
  • honey
  • evoo
  • balsamic vinegar
mango salsa

  • 2 diced mangoes
  • mint
  • chives
  • lemon rind
  • lemon juice
  • stevia
  • red pepper

  1. slice tofu, dry, and marinate in allspice, bebere, rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, a tiny bit of honey, evoo and balsamic in the fridge for a few hours
  2. chop mangoes and mix with mint, chives, rind, juice, stevia, and red pepper to taste
  3. saute tofu in nonstick pan until crispy
  4. serve with salsa drizzled over

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

So... I was making the boys pork chops last night and thought it would go well with mashed potatoes. Unfortunately the only potatoes I had were tiny little potatoes and guess what! I didn't feel like spending hours peeling tiny little potatoes. And when I pondered making mashed potatoes with the skins I recalled a recipe I had seen for smashing potatoes instead of mashing them. So I looked up some recipes and combined my favorite parts of them. And since they were insanely yummy - I figured I would share what I did with you.

  • small potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • garlic
  1. boil the potatoes in a pot of water
  2. once they are soft remove them from the water
  3. take two dish towels and place a tater in between
  4. smoosh the potato with your fist until it is quasi flat
  5. place a parchment paper on a baking sheet
  6. move your potatoes one by one to the baking sheet - if any of them crumble just smoosh it back in
  7. drizzle evoo over and under all the taters
  8. shake salt and pepper over the taters
  9. drizzle chopped garlic over the taters
  10. Roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes
  11. If they aren't brown yet broil under a watchful eye to make them crispy
  12. Serve and ENJOY!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spinach Pesto Tofu

I had this for the second time today and combined it with the balsamic roasted brussel sprouts for a yummy and very filling dinner for the family. Last time, Josiah and I were licking our bowls. This time I put a tad too much evoo so we weren't licking anything, but noone left a drop on their plate... that is for sure. So I share with you to enjoy. :)

  • extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • a handful of pine nuts
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups of evoo

  1. drizzle tofu with evoo and broil for 15-20 minutes or until its the crunch that you prefer 

  2. dry tofu on towels
  3. mix the remaining ingredients in the blender until smooth
  4. drizzle the pesto over the tofu until properly saturated (you should have enough pesto to store for two or three more tofu blocks in freezer or fridge depending on how long until you use it again)
  5. Enjoy!

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I made this again tonight and realized that I never posted it on the blog. It is way too good not to share and super super easy. I have been growing brussel sprouts in my vegetable garden in the back yard so have been able to have plenty of roasted brussel sprouts lately and my hubby and lil boy love them too!

  • brussel sprouts
  • evoo
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper (and any additional seasonings you enjoy)
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  1. lightly oil a glass dish
  2. spread out brussel sprouts so none of them are touching
  3. drizzle evoo, plenty of balsamic vinegar, spices, and parmesan cheese over the sprouts
  4. broil for 10 minutes or until browned and soft
  5. Enjoy!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Meatless Lettuce Wraps (In the order of P.F. Changs or Chilis)

So. I can't tell you how many times I have been to Chilis and watched a friend eat those lettuce wraps while I silently drool over the concept. As a big fan of flavorful food and one who yearns to like lettuce more it was something I wish I could enjoy. When I found a couple copycat recipes for the chilis lettuce wraps and the lettuce wraps that they make at P.F. Changs I knew that I could make a version without meat that my family would enjoy. Not to toot my own horn... but toot. It was fantastic. My son ate his two huge wraps in the blink of an eye and then was stealing lettuce off of our plates before we could eat ours. My husband asked for more despite being stuffed. And I couldn't wait until everyone was gone today and I could sneak the leftovers for lunch. Bwahahaha - yeah its all gone now. So steal my recipe and fill your bellies. Of course if you want to, you can always substitute my fake chicken with chicken or any other meat.

  • big outer lettuce leaves (we used iceburg but anything is usable)
  • boca fake chicken strips, defrosted and chopped
  • 1/2 of a sweet vidalia onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger
  • chopped peanuts
  • green onions
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • hoison sauce
  • 2 T teriaki sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T evoo
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1/2 T water
  • 1/2 T honey
  • 1/2 T chili sauce
  1. Cook fake chicken and onions over light evoo in pan until browned
  2. add garlic and ginger
  3. add corn and black beans
  4. add teriaki, vinegar, evoo, peanut butter, honey, water, and chili sauce
  5. cook until well blended and browned
  6. add green onions to the top and cook until they soften
  7. scoop mixture into lettuce, top with peanuts, wrap tightly
  8. Serve hot with hoison sauce and ENJOY!

Kale Chips (Potato Chip Replacement)

My husband (the one with the sweet tooth) also has a salty tooth. He can take down a full bag of potato chips in a sitting. You know the bag that most people buy, have some, clip, save for later. Yeah. One sitting. So when I heard of kale chips my first thought was - could you imagine if he would eat kale chips like he does potato chips. He would have some amazing vitamins and nutrients running through his body. Anyhow I mentioned to him and he was open to trying. Above is the final result. I think I should have cooked them a bit longer because some of them were a bit soggy. Though we had enough good ones to decide that we liked it. There were a few that we ate that we thought - ok thats the consistency of a potato chip. And the taste is definitely pretty good. So anyhow here is how you can make kale chips in your house.

  • kale chips
  • evoo
  • seasoning of your choice (salt / pepper / garlic / red pepper / sugar / ?)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Clip your kale into bite sized pieces
  3. Oil your baking dish
  4. Spread out your washed and dried kale on the baking dish
  5.  Drizzle with evoo and seasoning
  6. Bake until chips are browned but not burnt
  7. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Toast with Strawberry Jam and Hummus

This morning I happened upon a delightful creation by accident. I was putting strawberry jam on my flat-bread after heating it. When my son said "you putting peanut butter and jelly on it?". And I thought - hmm peanut butter would be good. But when I reached into the fridge for peanut butter my hand hit the bowl of hummus. And a lightbulb went off.... Hummus is similar in consistency and taste to peanut butter. So I spread it on lightly on one side of the toast (in case it was horrid) and left the other side with just strawberry jelly. Brought it up to my office... and tasted heaven. So here ya go.

  1. Spread jam and hummus on toast
  2. Enjoy :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Make your Own Strawberry Jam

This past weekend we took Josiah strawberry picking and when we came home with buckets of strawberries, I knew jam would need to be produced. After some google searching I found the recipe to use, modified it for my own purpose and got cooking. I share it here with you, so that you can make your own jam for your family.

  • 6 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 1.5 boxes of low sugar needed pectin (this is what thickens and jels the jam)
  • Sweetener (we used 2 cups of agave nectar but you can also 4 cups sugar or your sweetener of prefernce)
  • 6 bell jars including tops
  • funnel

  1. Sanitize your jars and lids in your dishwasher or in boiling water. Keep them in the heated dry until they are ready to use (or boiling water) so they are the right temperature and dont go to hot too fast and possibly crack.
  2. Pick or buy your strawberries. Wash them. Chop off the tops. Chop or food process them to your preferred consistency. The more they are crushed, the more natural pectin comes out in its own consistency. You want 6 cups of it after it is crushed so you will need 8-10 whole.
  3. Measure a quarter cup of sweetener with your pectin until it is blended well.
  4. Mix this sweetener/pectin blend in with your strawberries.
  5. Put the strawberry blend in a pot and bring slowly to a boil under medium/high heat.
    (If you do not use pectin you will need to take a much longer time over heat to get it to the right consistency, and double the sweetener. Pectin is a natural chemical extracted from apples - so nothing to worry about there)
  6. Once they have come to a complete boil, remove them from heat and add the remaining sugar.
  7. Bring to a boil again and let it boil for 1 minute. The slower you bring it to boiling the less foaming you will experience.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Skim the excessive foam and place in a bowl. You can microwave it for 60 seconds and throw it in the fridge for fresh jam.
  10. Here is where you get to test the JEL factor. Keep a cup of ice water with a spoon in it. Pull the cold spoon out and spoon out some jam. Let it cool to room temperature. Then see if it is the right JEL factor for you - if its not jelly enough add more pectin and reboil for one minute. Otherwise you are good to go.
  11. Let it stand for 5 minutes
  12. Stir completely
  13. Remove your jars from the dishwasher/hotwater and start funneling in the jam. Immediately place the tightly closed jar with jam in a pot of boiling water where the water covers the lid a couple inches.
  14. When the jars are all in the boiling water they should boil for about 10 minutes depending on your elevation.
  15. Remove carefully from the boiling water with tongs and place to set.
  16. After 24 hours they should be processed and set. You should be able to tell that the tops will no longer pop in or out. If they pop then store it in the fridge since it won't last as long before spoiling.
  17. Processing the jars like this ought to keep them in a cabinet for 6-12 months.
  18. Serve, share, and enjoy :)


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