Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Buckwheat Lamb Enchiladas

Buckwheat Lamb EnchiladasThis is another recipe I tried in the Allergy and Candida Cooking Made Easy cookbook. I have to admit I made a few substitutions, three to be exact. The recipe called for using Day 2 tortillas which are amaranth tortillas. I decided to make buckwheat tortillas instead. They turned out a little better than my quinoa tortillas I made a few weeks ago. The edges were a little more smooth and rounded. It was hard to keep the dough from sticking to the board though. I had to use a lot of flour. Some of them bubbled a bit while they were cooking like normal tortillas do. I made 7 tortillas which turned out to be just right for the amount of filling I made.

The filling is where I made another couple of substitutions. The recipe called for eggplant but I've got so much zucchini coming out of my ears and I thought zucchini and eggplant have similar textures so I went with it and think it turned out just fine. For the meat, ground beef or buffalo was the recommended meat but I had bought some ground lamb that I needed to use up so I used that. I also used a different brand of tomato puree than what was recommended in the recipe but I don't really count that as a substitute. I'm not sure why they specify brands. I just got the only organic puree I could find at PCC.

The enchiladas ended up getting a little crispy on top while in the oven so I spooned over some of the extra sauce that was in the side of the pan to soften them up a bit and that seemed to do the trick. After al the sauce and filling on the tortillas they broke easily while trying to get them out of the pan which also happens with regular corn tortillas but not as much as these. They tasted good though and that's the important thing.

Buckwheat Tortillas Buckwheat Enchilada Prep
Enchilada Filling

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gluten Free Baking

I've been on a baking kick lately since it's been a while since I've baked anything. There are quite a few baked goods recipes in the Allergy and Candida Cooking Cookbook. I made two of them last Thursday.
Quinoa and Applesauce Muffin
I liked how well the buckwheat muffins came out, I decided to try a different muffin recipe from the cookbook. This time I went with quinoa applesauce muffins. I made some more quinoa flour for the recipe. The batter was a lot more stiff than the buckwheat muffins. They didn't seem to rise as much as the others. I couldn't really taste the applesauce in them and they turned out a little dry. I ate a couple of them and put the rest in the freezer. I plan on bringing some to work in the morning and see how well they hold up after being frozen.

Zucchini Amaranth Cookies
My zucchini plants are going crazy again this year. My yellow zucchini plant is producing a lot more than the green one for some reason. This is my first year planting the yellow variety. I think it is a lot prettier but I can't really taste the difference. Since I have so much of it I decided to look for a zucchini recipe and came across zucchini amaranth cookies. These cookies also have kiwi puree in them. Besides the oil this was the only other liquid ingredient unless you count the zucchini which does have a lot of moisture in it. I ended up baking this for longer than called for because they just didn't seem to want to get done in the middle even though the outside was pretty browned. I had a couple while they were warm and they tasted ok and the inside still didn't seem to be completely done. They are a little hard since I had cooked them so long. I wouldn't call this a great recipe but I didn't expect too much from a sugar free cookie. It is good enough for a snack.

Grated Yellow Zucchini Peeled Kiwi
Kiwi Puree

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Heavy Metal Detox

Cilantro PestoThere are lots of different ways to rid your body of heavy metals. Probably the most popular method is eating cilantro in the form of a pesto. I did one of these a few years ago and decided I should do another one due to having a silver filling removed. There's a big debate going on about silver fillings and if they really are bad for you or not and I'd rather be safe than sorry so I decided to have the only one I had removed by a wholistic dentist in Bellevue. The word is regular dentists don't take the necessary precautions when removing silver fillings, also known as amalgams. Wholistic dentists give you oxygen during the procedure and they too wear masks so they don't inhale any of the mercury vapors that are released.

One thing that surprised me by this particular dentist is no dental dam was used when they removed it which seems to me like a no no because fragments could easily have been swallowed while they were drilling it out. Even my regular dentists at least does that when working on fillings so I'm not sure I would recommend this particular dentist for that. The only reason I picked this one is because it was only one of two wholistic (mercury safe) dentists I could find near me that my insurance covered and he had pretty good reviews on Yelp.

There have been studies done showing mercury gases are released from these fillings. This is one video I came across that talks about one such study: Smoking Teeth = Poison Gas There's no doubt it happens the real debate is whether or not it's bad for you. They also did animal testing by giving sheep and monkeys silver fillings and found that their kidney function decreased and other problems were found. Watching it is enough to make you want to get them removed.

So to get rid of all that mercury and any other metals that might be in my system is a priority now that I'm done with my Ultimate Colon Cleanse which went pretty well. I was able to get rid of a lot of gunk that's been sitting in my intestines for who knows how long. I've decided to continue drinking fiber shakes in the mornings just to keep me regular. Enough about that, let's get back to the subject. This time for my heavy metal cleanse I've again decided to eat a couple of tsps of cilantro pesto twice a day but in addition to that I'm also taking Zeoforce Zeolite Powder for some extra detoxing power. Zeolite is a clay, kind of like Bentonite. It doesn't really have a taste but the smell is awful. I try not to breath while I'm drinking it mixed with water. In the mornings I blend it in with my smoothie so it's not so bad but when I take it in the evening it's just mixed with water. It's hard to describe. I've been taking 2 heaping tbsp's of it twice a day. You can also add it to your bath water for detoxifying or create a face mask with it. I've used bentonite clay in my bath water a few times but haven't tried it with this stuff. I haven't tried using either as a face mask yet but I was planning on it.

Below is the recipe I used for my cilantro pesto and is the same recipe I used before. I used flax seed last time and this time decided to use olive oil. You can modify it to your liking. I used 3 bunches of cilantro. Several people wondered how I was able to remove the stems from so much cilantro. I used to do it the hard way, pulling the leaves off each stem one by one. There was no way I was going to do that with 3 bunches of cilantro. So I basically did 2 or 3 chops of the cilantro starting at the leafy end going down to near where the leaves stopped then I sifted through what I chopped off and picked out any large loose stems and picked out some of the larger stems and pulled the leaves off. It didn't really take that long doing it that way. I probably blended up a few stems but a few didn't hurt any. I may do a video of how I do it next time I make some.

4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw Brazil nuts (selenium)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (cysteine)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (zinc, magnesium)
2 cups packed fresh organic cilantro, stems removed (coriander, Chinese parsley) (vitamin A)
2/3 cup flaxseed or olive oil (cold-pressed)
4 tablespoons lemon juice (vitamin C)

Add all ingredients to blender or food processor add additional oil or some water to thin if needed.

As you can see from the photo below, I don't always just eat the pesto by the spoonful, I will occasionally mix it with some pasta or with chicken. The other night I mixed it in with some chopped chicken breast and brown rice fusilli pasta.

Fresh Cilantro
Cilantro Pesto Fusilli

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Easy Chicken Soup

Easy Chicken SoupI decided to make one more recipe from the Allergy & Candida Cooking Made Easy cookbook's poultry section before moving on to the next section. As the title entails it was an easy recipe, something you can just throw in a crock pot for 4 hours.

Again, the recipe didn't specify what type of chicken pieces to use so I decided to use boneless chicken thighs this time. The recipe gave an option of making this a soup or not and I decided to do the soup option so I cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces rather than leaving them whole. I had some cabbage and celery from my Full Circle box to use so that was another reason I chose to make this recipe. There aren't too many ingredients in this recipe. I think it could have been even better if there were some herbs added to it, but it wasn't a bad meal. I served it with a green salad and some red and white quinoa. It was the first time I mixed the red and white quinoa together. It turned out rather pretty.

Cabbage and Dill

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Radish and Carrot Salad

Radish and Carrot SaladThis salad turned out better than I thought it would. I received some purple radishes in my Full Circle box last week. I usually just slice them and put them on a salad but thought I would do something a little different this time by making the radish the star of the salad. This salad has a lot of crunch and as you can see, very colorful. The best part is that it's so easy to make, especially if you have a mandoline. I have one of these Japanese Mandolines. I have to admit I don't use it that often since I don't usually slice large amounts of things but if you occasionally have a lot of slicing to do it is well worth having one. I sliced the carrots, radishes and shallot with it and it took no time at all.

1 bunch of baby carrots, sliced
1 bunch of large radishes, sliced
1 small shallot, diced
1 lime
1 Tbsp olive or your fav oil (I used hemp oil)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Add sliced carrots, radishes and diced shallot to a medium sized bowl and set aside. Zest and juice the lime and add to a small bowl with the oil and salt. Wisk until well combined. Pour the lime mixture over the carrots, radishes and shallot and toss until well coated. Stir in the cilantro and chill in fridge to let the flavors meld for at least 15 minutes.

It's best eaten within a few hours of making. The longer it sits the more juice will drain out of the vegetables and you will end up with a puddle of juice at the bottom of the bowl.

Mandoline Sliced Radishes

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oven Fried Chicken

Oven Fried ChickenThis dish looks a lot better than it tasted. It's another recipe from the Allergy & Candida Cooking Made Easy cookbook. I should have known it wouldn't be that tasty looking at the ingredients. Maybe it was my choice of using breast for it. It didn't really say which chicken pieces to use it only said 8 pieces of chicken with skin removed. I made 3 breasts and coated them with brown rice flour, salt and cumin as directed and baked in the oven. It says something about it being crispier on all sides if you cook it on a wire rack. Well there was no crispiness at all and I don't see how there could be given how it was prepared. It was a bit dry and just didn't have any taste. The star of the meal was actually the salad which warrants a blog post of it's own.

I had one breast leftover and chopped it up the next day and tossed it with some cooked pasta and garlic scape pesto and it was much better. All it needed was a little sauce, something to give it some taste.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Table 219 Restaurant

Table 219 RestaurantThis was my first time at Table 219 on Broadway on Capitol Hill in Seattle. I haven't been out to many restaurants lately due to my candida diet. We needed to find a healthy place to eat before going to Jeremy "Ogalthorpe"'s going away party.

I did some googling for organic restaurants in Seattle and came across this page on Urbanspoon for The Best Organic Restaurants in Seattle. I've been an Urbanspoon contributor for a while and now prefer it over Yelp. I recognized a few of the restaurants in this top 10 list. Most of which I knew were very expensive and wasn't what I was looking for. A few I didn't know much about and looked at their websites for menus and more info. When I came to Table 219's menu I knew this was the place for us. The prices were reasonable (entrees between $12-15) and the menu wasn't huge but looked good and healthy. The menu also indicated which foods were gluten free. Though I'm not gluten free I am limiting my gluten intake as part of my candida diet.

We made reservations and showed up a little early. It was a nice day and decided to eat outside for the best light for taking photos. They brought out a small bowl of truffle popcorn which I couldn't eat so Mark got to have it all to himself.

It wasn't difficult to choose what to order. It was between the salmon and steak dishes so we got both of those and shared. I ordered the steak medium but it seemed closer to medium-well to us. Medium-well is actually what I normally order so it was fine with me. It was nice and tender. It was served with stuffed potatoes and bone marrow butter. The stuffed potatoes were creatively in the shape of a piece of bone. The potatoes had a little bit of crunch to it. The salmon dish was served over swiss chard and a purple potato puree. The potato puree seemed more like a mashed potato than a puree but it was great. I'm not sure I've ever had purple potatoes before. I haven't really eaten many potatoes since being on this candida diet and potatoes are one of my fav foods so it was a treat to have them two ways. The salmon however was just a little overcooked but I still enjoyed it. I would order either dish again.

During our meal we were interrupted by a drunk guy that wanted to tell us some stories. It wasn't long before our waiter came out and shooed him away. Overall it was a great meal, the prices were reasonable and the service was outstanding. I would recommend it if you haven't tried it.

Table 219 larger plate menu
Truffle Popcorn Grilled New York Strip
Pastrami Spiced Coho Salmon
Table 219 on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Quinoa Tortillas

Quinoa TortillasThis was another recipe from the Allergy and Candida Cooking Made Easy cookbook. The cookbook provides a recipe table with a variety of different flours you can use and different types of oils. I chose to go with quinoa and sesame oil. While looking at the different flours I noticed quinoa flour is quite a bit pricier than the other flours so I didn't buy any. Instead I decided to make my own quinoa flour using whole quinoa grains I already had. This was my first time making flour from whole grains and it was pretty simple. 1 cup of grain is supposed to yield 3/4 cup of flour but for some reason I'm sure I used 1 cup of grain and ended up with 1.5 cups of flour.

How to make quinoa flour:
  • Rinse quinoa in cold water until water runs clear. I've noticed even pre-washes quinoa may have some dirt and grit in it so I always wash it first.
  • Toast quinoa in pre-heated non stick pan (I used a cast iron pan) until quinoa starts to brown and pop.
  • Set aside toasted quinoa to cool.
  • Put quinoa in blender, coffee grinder or food processor. Turn on to highest speed and grind until flour consistency. I have a Blendtec blender and use a full cycle on speed 9 which is 50 seconds
Once the flour is made it doesn't take much to make the tortilla's. It's just a combination of water, oil, flour and salt. A couple of the recipes used guar gum as well, depending on the flour used. Seems simple enough right? I thought so but the cookbook goes on and on for 6 pages about tortillas giving all kinds of tips for mixing, kneading, rolling, cooking and cooling and other things. I honestly didn't read all that stuff since I'm pretty familiar with the art of tortilla making.

Unfortunately the tortillas didn't turn out all that pretty and were a little tough and didn't roll out very well. I'm thinking the dough may have been a little too dry. All the recipes in this cookbook make small portions. The tortilla recipes only make 4 tortillas so it was really only enough for 1 or 2 meals. Next time I'll probably just use my own judgement on the amounts and consistency of the dough the way my mom does it. I'll probably also try one of the other flours.

Quinoa Grains
Blending Quinoa
Quinoa Grain and Flour Quinoa Flour

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Green Smoothie

Blendtec Smoothie Green Smoothie
Since I've been doing the Ultimate Colon Cleanse for the past couple of weeks, I have been drinking fiber shakes every morning. If I'm lazy I will just mix the fiber with distilled water and 1/4 tsp of Vitamin C crystals. If I'm not lazy I'll get out the Blendtec and make a smoothie. I usually alternate between strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and green apple smoothies. With the candida diet there aren't very many fruits you can eat since they contain sugars. Berries are apparently ok and green apples supposedly have less sugar than other types.

I thought I'd share one of my favorite smoothie recipes that I make at least once a week or some variation of it. I have both chia seeds and flax seeds and will alternate between the two. I also have some stuff called Super Seed by Garden of Life that is a ground up mix of various high fiber seeds, sprouted grains and legumes. If you're not familiar with Sun Chlorella, it is a green algae superfood that helps to detoxify your body. I'm not too fond of the taste of it but it's not so bad when mixed with a smoothie like this.

16 oz water
3 Tbsp yogurt
1 Tbsp flax seeds
1 green apple, cored and cut into chunks
1 packet Sun Chlorella
1/2 tsp Vitamin C Crystals

Add ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings of smoothies

Monday, August 01, 2011

Stuffed Collard Greens

Collard Green Rolls Stuffed Collard Greens
Full Circle has been blogging some great recipes lately. This is the second one I've tried in the past week and it was good enough that I had to blog about it too.

I'm always looking for different recipes to try with my Full Circle greens and this one looked too good to pass up. Michelle, the author of Daily Waffle, had her recipe reposted on Full Circle's blog for Cajun Inspired Stuffed Collard Rolls. Her recipe was inspired by Sunny Anderson's Pork-Stuffed Collard Greens recipe. I gotta say Michelle's version of these rolls looked much more appetizing than Sunny's based on the photo. So, I figured I'd continue the chain and share my own version of this recipe. I pretty much followed Michelle's recipe and didn't even look at Sunny's but I swapped out a few ingredients and omitted some and I couldn't have been happier with the results.

My changes to Michelle's recipe inclue using brown rice instead of white (I guess she doesn't really say what type of rice but I assumed white), using ground turkey rather than pork and omitting the tomato and cider vinegar. I also increased the amounts of collard greens, bell pepper, garlic, cayenne, thyme, rice and broth which produced 9 rolls instead of 6 with some stuffing left over which I put in the freezer.

1 bunch of collard greens (I used 9 leaves)
4 strips of bacon, chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 c cooked brown rice
salt & pepper
3/4 c chicken broth

Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse collard greens and remove stems. Blanch the leaves in lightly salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes until softened. Drain and cover with cold water and ice to stop them from cooking.

In a large skillet, render the bacon over low-medium heat. Add the peppers, onion and garlic and saute until softened. With a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, brown the ground turkey over medium heat. Drain off excess fat. Add back the bacon and pepper mixture. Mix in cayenne, thyme, paprika and rice and cook for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Depending on the size of your collards, put 1/2 to 3/4 cup of filling near the top of the leaf, tuck in the sides and roll it like a burrito. set the rolls into a baking dish, seam side down. Repeat until all collard leaves are filled.

Add 3/4 cup chicken broth to the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.