I have always cooked fish in the oven. I don’t know why. That’s the way my mother cooked fish. That’s what most of my recipes have called for.
After a recent blog about cod, Basma sent this comment, “Never ever cook fish in the oven. It turns out dry and tastes awful. I always cook fish (any kind) in a non-stick saucepan. I add some olive oil, brown the fish on one side, flip it over and then add the juice of one lemon and let it simmer on a low heat in the juice until all the juice is absorbed and the fish is browned and moist. Add spices like Cajun and it becomes a very yummy fish indeed.”
Her enthusiasm alone made me want to try this as soon as possible. A few days later I was at the store looking for something to fix for dinner that night. Mahi Mahi was on special. This – I knew instantly – would be the ultimate test for pan vs oven cooking.
You see, eight or ten years ago I had read about what a great tasting fish Mahi Mahi was. One night, when we were having company for dinner, I bought a Mahi Mahi fillet. I cooked it and served it with a flourish. It was terrible. Dry, tough, tasteless. I was embarrassed. I was also irritated - Mahi Mahi was expensive.
Last summer in South Carolina, our son recommended Mahi Mahi fish tacos. I said, “no way.” But he insisted and I tried them. I had to admit, they were delicious.
I decided to try Basma’s cooking method on Mahi Mahi. I had two things going for me this time. (1) the fish was on sale and (2) my husband and I would be alone for dinner. The experiment would not be expensive or embarrassing.
I followed her instructions, except I was out of lemons. Oh Mahi, it was good - tender, flavorful, very enjoyable. Even the leftovers two days later were acceptable. I can imagine that lemons would make it even better. I have become a fan of pan cooked fish.
Our Bible Study class had a cook out over the weekend. The men grilled hamburgers and the women brought side dishes. There was so much good food – baked beans, an oriental salad filled with crunchy veggies, lots of fresh fruit, and a spinach salad topped with cranberries and nuts. Of course there were chips and cookies, but it was easy for a Type O to find plenty to eat.
I decided to take carrot salad. It’s good for all blood types, it’s easy, and most people like it. Sometimes when I make it at home, I use oil instead of mayonnaise. It tastes good, but it doesn’t have the same creamy texture. For the cook out, I wanted to make it the more familiar way, but I was nearly out of mayonnaise, so I went to the health food store. The owner saw me looking at the various brands, and suggested I look in the refrigerator for Vegenaise. Sorry, but I would never name a product Vegenaise. It just brings weird images into my mind, like Veggie Tale characters climbing onto sandwiches.
I picked up a jar and liked the ingredients. Grapeseed oil – not good for Hunters, but super beneficial for Gatherers. There are advantages to having a mixed body type – I focused on super beneficial. Brown rice syrup instead of corn syrup – that was good, as was apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar. I bought a jar.
I put two cans of diced pineapple (with the juice) in a bowl, added several handfuls of raisins, and let them soak until they were plump. Meanwhile I grated two pounds of carrots. Just as I got ready to put it all together, DD called. She was telling me about a salad she had made with cinnamon and ginger. On impulse I put 2-3 teaspoons of cinnamon and a teaspoon of ginger in my carrot salad. Tossed it with some Vegenaise and off we went to the cook out.
The day was beautiful and the conversation was fun. We met two new couples who live in our area. The carrot salad was a hit – I think it’s the best I’ve ever made. If I had been hoping to bring enough home leftovers for Sunday lunch, I would have been disappointed.
I got my hair cut, and the first thing my stylist said was, “I’ve gone gluten free and organic.” I’m sure I’ve mentioned the BTD to her at other appointments. We talk about everything imaginable. I reminded her that I was wheat free - in fact nearly grain free* - but that I didn’t do organic. Then we started comparing diets.
She is doing a program that is recommended by the gym where she exercises. I asked about her blood type, and she didn’t know, but her preferences in food and exercise lean toward Type O.
She is trying lots of new recipes. She let me taste a quinoa dish that was very good. Before she cooked the quinoa, she added golden raisins, craisins, and orange juice. When I make it, I will substitute pineapple juice, which would be better for Type Os and Type As. I really think my husband will like quinoa prepared this way.
There are things I like about her new diet, however, it disappoints me that it is just another diet that tries to squeeze every one into one mold. Eating is not a “one size fits all” proposition. A diet must treat people as individuals with different metabolisms and food needs. No matter how intriguing a new diet idea sounds, I filter it through BTD food lists.
* No longer grain free. click here for more info
This summer DD and I have been baking pies. One year at Thanksgiving, she wanted to bake a BTD compliant pumpkin pie. We ground walnuts and used them for a pat in crust – sort of like a graham cracker pat in crust. The pie was delicious. Why we didn’t pursue pie, I don’t know, but we let the idea drop.
This spring we baked an apple pie. We used walnuts for a crust again. We put a layer of thinly sliced apples, then a sprinkle of cinnamon a drizzle of ghee, and a squirt of honey. Then another layer the same way until the apples were higher than the crust. We baked it at 350 degrees until it was bubbly and the apples were soft. Oh, it was delicious.
Now we are enjoying pie quite often. A friend from high school who is celiac, came for lunch last week. I assured her that a preparing a meal without wheat or gluten was no problem for me. DD and I baked an apple pie. We warned my friend and her husband that it wasn’t very sweet. She said, “I haven’t had pie in years, so I’ve forgotten how sweet it’s supposed to be. This is delicious.”
Our nephew and his family came last weekend to enjoy the Hill Country lakes and rivers. We baked a blueberry pie for Father’s Day. We stirred ¼ cup of honey and a teaspoon of vanilla into two packages of frozen blueberries. We baked them in the walnut crust. I bought vanilla ice cream so that those who were used to a sweeter dessert wouldn’t feel that our pie was too bland. No ice cream for DD and me. We found every bite to be delicious just as it came out of the oven.
Peaches are sweet and inexpensive right now, so I think our next pie will be peach. Then, perhaps cherry. When the ingredients are so healthy and beneficial, why not enjoy pie more often?
I love eggs, and I love breakfast, but I rarely put the two together. My fruit and nut mixture is perfect for breakfast – it gets me going quickly and keeps me energized all morning. I like to have my Type O red meat for lunch - beef or bison or lamb for lunch. The evening meal is when I enjoy eggs.
DD was home for a visit, and she had a craving for French toast, one of our Saturday morning traditions from when she was young. We decided to have a big breakfast for supper.
We modified the old French toast recipe, and it turned out delicious.
7 slices of Raisin Ezekiel Bread
¾ cup soy milk
½ tsp almond extract
Mix the eggs, soy milk and extract in a large bowl with a flat bottom. Dip the bread in the egg mixture. The bread needs to absorb some, but not too much of the eggs. You don’t want to dip it so quickly that the egg is just coating the outside of the bread. You also don’t want to leave the bread soaking for so long that it becomes soggy.
Cook it on a hot griddle or a skillet sprayed with cooking spray until it is golden brown. Top with ghee and cinnamon.
I think what made this French toast especially good was the combination of Raisin Ezekiel Bread and cinnamon.
We served the French toast with turkey bacon. This was the only BTD compromise of the meal. We found pork bacon without preservatives or nitrites at the health food store. We found turkey bacon with nitrites at the grocery store. Neither is the best, but we went with the turkey.
French toast, turkey bacon, and fresh fruit. It was a delicious supper.
I always smile when I am doing my Bible study and a verse jumps out with application for the BTD. That happened this week with Hebrews 13:9. I know that in context the verse is about legalistic food rituals, but it speaks to my heart about the relative importance of the love I have for Christ & my fellow human beings and the needs of my own body.
Here is the verse. “It is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.” I see this as a reminder to me that while God wants me to take care of my body, I must never become so preoccupied with myself that I neglect grace.
DD’s Type AB friend sent me a recipe for sweet potato custard right before Spring Break. Since DD was coming home, I was reluctant to make such a yummy sounding dish just for me. Sweet potatoes are avoid for the Type As in the family. DD and I decided to try it with pumpkin.
Here is the original recipe for Sweet Potato Custard
1 & 1/2 cup pureed sweet potato
1 cup milk
Mix together. Spoon into custard cups which have been sprayed with non stick cooking spray and bake at 350 deg. F for 20 minutes.
Here is DD’s and my Pumpkin Custard
3 cups canned pumpkin
2 cups soy milk
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp all spice
½ tsp cloves
Mix together. Pour into a square baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a knife poked into the custard comes out clean. Cut in squares to serve.
Let me remind you about DD’s marketing survey. She is taking a college class in how to write a survey and analyze the data. The more responses she gets the better her grade. It is very quick and easy. You will not be asked for any identifying information, just a few general demographic questions. Thank you in advance for visiting the link.
DD is home for Spring Break. I love cooking with her, exercising with her, and bouncing ideas off her head.
Last night she made curried green beans for her dad and me. She took a curried chicken recipe that she likes, and made it vegetarian. Clever girl! I’m proud of her!
Green beans – last night she used a 12 oz package of frozen green beans. You could, of course use fresh. If you use canned, drain them completely – no green bean juice!
Pineapple cubed – she used about a cup of canned pineapple, drained.
Raisins – she didn’t measure, about a half a cup
Walnuts – about a cup. She really likes using pine nuts, but I was out.
Curry powder – sprinkle generously. You should be able to see the yellow on the beans.
Ghee – she didn’t use ghee, but when I make this recipe, I will add 2-3 teaspoons.
Drain all but a little water from the cooked beans. Add the fruit, nuts, and curry powder. Heat until the flavors have a chance to mix.
I asked her if the measurements were right, and she said, “I just throw stuff in there until it looks tasty. You want the green beans to dominate, but a serving should have several pieces of pineapple, raisins, and nuts.”
One more thing. DD is trying to make an A in a Marketing course. You can help by filling out a simple survey (less than 3 minutes) on celebrity endorsements. Here is the link. DD thanks you in advance.
My Honorable Husband paid me the biggest compliment possible. He was happily eating a piece of fruitcake, and he was shocked to find out that I had made it. He thought it was a piece of genuine Collin Street Bakery Fruit Cake. DD and I have succeeded in developing a fruit cake that is 100% compliant and mostly beneficial for all Types.
For the cake part, you are going to use a variation on the Walnut Torte recipe on the Blood Type Diet Recipe Center.
4 eggs (separated)
6 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups finely ground walnuts.
1 cup dates, cut into pieces
4 cups chopped pecans
1 cup dried pineapple, chopped
1 cup dried papaya, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 cup dried cherries.
Mix the pecans and chopped dried fruit in a large bowl. Spray a tube pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Whirl the egg yolks, honey, vanilla and dates in a food processor until they are creamy. (The dates are the key to making the fruit cake stick together.) Stir the ground walnuts into the creamy mixture. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff, then fold into the creamy mixture.
Pour the torte batter over the pecans and dried fruit. Mix together. I could not do this with a spoon. I used both hands. Press the fruit cake batter into the tube pan. Press it firmly, so it will stick together.
Bake until the edges of the cake start to turn brown and a toothpick comes out clean. About 45 minutes.
You may say, wait a minute what about papaya? Isn’t it Toxic for Hunters and Avoid for Type As? True, but it is also neutral for Type Os and beneficial for Teachers. DD and I have decided that if a food is good for us on either the BTD or the GTD, then we will enjoy it. It can’t be all that bad if it isn’t avoid/toxic on both diets. Especially with a fruit or a vegetable, there are phyto-nutrients that will be valuable in building health.
If you like traditional Texas fruit cake, you will enjoy this healthy BTD/GTD variety.
Before church on Sunday a friend and I were talking about holiday food, particularly fruit cake. Both of us like fruit cakes that are mostly fruit and nuts with very little “cake”.
Aside from making a cake with ground nuts, fruit cake may be one of the best cake options for Type Os. My Mom is from in a small town near Corsicana, Texas, the home of the famous Collin Street Bakery fruit cake. So I grew up with that as my standard. Over the years I’ve had lots of other fruit cakes, some homemade, some store bought. I’ve never found one that I like better than Collin Street’s.
My friend has a recipe developed by her grandmother that she says is the best fruit cake in the world. She described how tired her arms get stirring the batter by hand. I asked if she shared her recipe. She hesitated and said No, that the family had voted not to give it out.
That conversation has sent me on a search for a fruit cake to make for New Years. There is one recipe on the BTD recipe center, but the ingredients are not very similar to the fruit cake I am so fond of. A Texas fruit cake would be loaded with chopped pecans. It would have pineapple, papaya raisins, and cherries. It wouldn’t be spicy. I’m still looking.
My sweet niece (ok, she’s really my nephew’s wife, but I don’t think she’ll mind if I claim her) brought butternut squash soup to the family Thanksgiving gathering. I love butternut squash. I usually cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and bake it with a dollop of ghee where the seeds were. I had never imagined, much less eaten soup made from butternut squash. It was delicious. Just a little spicy, but not so much that it radically changed the flavor of the squash.
My Mom had the surgery on Monday to take out the screw in her ankle. She had responded well to antibiotics, and the cellulitis was almost totally gone. Breathing treatments four times a day kept her from developing pneumonia. The doctors finally reached a consensus that to send her back to the Rehab facility with an open wound and exposed hardware would guarantee another infection. When the doctor told me she would not be under general anesthetic, but that he would use local anesthetic plus a twilight sleep, I agreed.
The surgery went well, and the doctor was able to stitch the incision in such a way that the original wound is mostly closed.
It was a long day for me – 11 ½ hours at the hospital. When she came out of surgery, I realized I was hungry, but I had already eaten all of my lunch and my snack. The hospital cafeteria was open, but since it was between meals, the serving lines were shut down. There was a salad bar, but I shy away from salad bars during flu season. There were plenty of desserts, but I was resolved to find something healthy. They had fruit, but I had already eaten three servings of fruit. I was about to give up when I realized I had passed two soup tureens several times. One had chicken noodle soup – not interested in that. The other had butternut squash soup.
It was weird – here is a food I had never heard of until a week ago, and it’s in the cafeteria. If I had not enjoyed my niece’s soup so much I would probably have passed this by. But I served myself a bowl, popped on a lid, and headed back to Mom’s room. Oh it was good. Like my niece’s recipe, it was thick and just a little spicy. It soothed my nerves and filled my stomach.
There are three butternut squash soups in the BTD Recipe Center. How had I missed that? They are all a little different, so I guess I’ll have to try them all.
I just realized that my mother cooked with ghee. This was long before I had any knowledge of nutrition or Butyrates (short chain fatty acids which are a source of energy for cells in the intestinal lining. Studies suggest that it is butyrate which gives fiber its anti-cancer effects. Cells incubated in high butyrate environments tend to not mutate as frequently.).
This revelation came last week when I was preparing food for a book club meeting at my house. I had just put up Thanksgiving decorations, and I wanted to do healthy snacks that went along with the decorations. I fixed Cranberry Crunch, which everyone loved, sweet potato fries, and shrimp. Ok, shrimp aren’t exactly Thanksgiving fare, but they were high protein and they were on sale.
I had sliced the sweet potatoes into thin rounds in my food processor, when I realized I was out of light olive oil and out of ghee. Butter will just have to do, I told myself, and I put a Tablespoon on each of my cookie sheets and put them in the oven. A few minutes later I pulled out the pre-heated sheets and realized that I had quickly made just enough ghee for the fries. It had the same look and smell as ghee does when I make a whole pot of it.
Suddenly I remembered how my Mom scrambled eggs. She put a teaspoon or two of butter in a skillet, and heated it until it was bubbly and starting to turn brown. Then she poured in the beaten eggs and chunks of cheese. My Dad always said she made the best scrambled eggs in the world. It had to be the ghee.
I still need to go to the store for more olive oil. The best place to buy is in the opposite direction from my mother’s rehab facility, and I just haven’t had time to make the extra drive. I still need to make a batch of ghee for the refrigerator. But over the weekend, when I needed oil for cooking, I made Quick Ghee.
A Tablespoon in a sauce pan turns quickly into ghee. One warning. It is easy enough to burn ghee when I am making ¾ cup. It is really, really easy to burn Quick Ghee. If you try this, stay by your stove. Don’t turn your back. You can have a smoky mess faster than you think. Fortunately I did not smoke up the kitchen, but once I came close enough to remind myself and you to be cautions.
I feel as if the clock has turned back to the 1970s when HH and I were first married and I was learning for the first time about health and nutrition. We were both working full time in a megalopolis, never getting home before 6:30 at night. I was reading fabulous new, healthy recipes, but had no time to cook. I laughingly described my cooking style as broiled meat, steamed vegetables, and salad.
Actually that is not a bad cooking style. It’s basic, healthy, and open to variety. I find myself back in that cooking style now. It’s not that life is so terribly hectic. My to do list is busy, but not overwhelming. I think it’s that my days are choppy. I’m at the rehab center for one meal a day with my Mom. By the time I drive in, visit with her, feed her, and run a couple of errands, I’ve spent four hours in town. My Practical Photography business (www.PracticalPhoto-Publishing.com) is beginning to generate a stream of satisfying work. I’ve got my paperwork, Mom’s paperwork, and housework to keep up with. Overall, I do not feel frantically busy, but I suddenly find that it’s time to eat, and I haven’t begun to prepare a meal.
Broiled meat, steamed vegetables and salad is a great fall back position. There is always fish in the freezer. I always have ground turkey, ground beef, and ground bison. I always have frozen vegetables ready to pull out of the freezer, and fresh vegetables washed in the fridge. I can whip up an impressive meal in a short time.
Where the BTD has changed things from the 1970s is my use of herbs and spices. Broiled meat and steamed vegetables take on a whole new life when sprinkled with beneficial seasonings. While Type A and Type O foods often clash, the spices that are beneficial for one of us are usually beneficial or neutral for the other.
I am using turmeric and curry on fish and ground turkey. I have always liked rosemary on lamb, but I have found that it is also nice on turkey cutlets. In fact rosemary, mixed with oregano and sage is a tasty combination. Cilantro is delicious on canned tuna and salmon, and it has the added benefit of neutralizing the mercury so often present in tuna. Cinnamon, cloves, and ginger all add zest to butternut squash, parsnips, and pumpkin. Parsley, fresh or dried, goes well with any kind of meat and vegetable combination. Italian spice mixes are good on zucchini & tomatoes as well as okra & tomatoes. Even when I leave off the tomatoes for the sake of my Type A husband, Italian spices and olive oil alone are really nice with zucchini.
So, though my cooking style is simple right now, my husband and I are not eating boring meals. They are full of flavor and variety. I have not come close to the end of the list of potential BTD spices. Dill, mustard powder, tarragon, and horseradish are beneficial for us both. I need to think of ways to incorporate those into my current cooking style.
Yesterday DD made the best tasting power bars ever. She used one of our favorite recipes that used to be on this website in Recipe Central. I was going to link it, but it’s gone. Here is the basic recipe.
2 cups of nuts – your choice. Whatever is beneficial for your family.
4 cups of dried fruit – I always include 1 cup of prunes, because they help the bars hold together.
Spin the nuts in a food processor until they are powdery. Slowly add the dried fruit. Add large fruits first (like prunes and dates) Add smaller fruits last (like craisins, pineapple and cherries)
Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. If you have a small rolling pin, use it to evenly spread the mixture in the pan. If you don’t have one, contact a Pampered Chef representative or pat the mixture in with your hands. Cut into bars. If you are eating them at home, you’re finished. That’s all there is to it. If you are taking them on an outing, put each bar in a plastic sandwich bag. You can eat it out of the bag without having to wash your hands.
DD and I have tried a lot of combinations, but yesterday’s was outstanding. She used one cop of pecans and 1/2 cup each of walnuts and pumpkin seeds for the nuts. For the fruit she used one cup each of dried prunes, dates, and pineapple. The last cup of fruit was mixed dried blueberries and cherries.
When she was making them, she called, “Mom come look at these power bars. They look like Play Dough.” Usually when we take the mixture out of the food processor it sticks together in a ball, but is easily pliable. This mixture was stiff. It felt like Play Dough. She had to work a little harder to get it to spread out in the pan.
DD had a day off work, so we went to a water park. We played hard all day, and about 4:00 sat down by the pool and opened our power bars. Oh they were good! There were no avoids, and there were beneficials for both As and Os.
DD has been experimenting with nut butters this summer. Nut butter sandwiches on Ezekiel bread are easy to take to work and beneficial for Type As.
I had always made almond butter and pumpkin seed butter. Almond butter is very expensive, and I’ve never seen pumpkin seed butter in the store. However, I always bought peanut butter for DD and my husband. Natural peanut butter is cheap and easy to find.
However DD decided to try making her own. She used unsalted, dry roasted peanuts. It worked beautifully, and smelled heavenly. It made me wish that Type Os could have peanuts. One day I watched her make it. She put one jar of dry roasted nuts in the food processor, and started it spinning. “Now, Mom,” she said, “just when you think that it’s going to be too dry and you will need to add olive oil, suddenly, like magic, it becomes beautifully creamy.” She was right. Just as the food processor seemed ready to give up, the peanut butter turned creamy before our eyes. It’s fresh and it’s half the cost of peanut butter in a jar.
Next she decided to try pecan butter. She used raw pecans. They quickly became smooth and creamy. Pecan butter on carrots is a delicious snack. If you like nut butters, you must try this one. It’s heavenly.
I have been distracted this week because my husband was sick. He ran fever for a full week. He went to the doctor twice. His symptoms were very mixed up, and the doctor finally decided he had two simultaneous infections. He stayed free of fever all day today, and his other symptoms are improving.
Stress is the single biggest risk factor for many diseases. HH has been under a lot of stress lately. Some of it is just part of life, but some has been self imposed. He paid a big price for his worrying.
I read a photography newsletter published in Chicago. The editor complains that the weather has been cool and rainy. He laments that they are not having a summer. Those of us in South Texas would love to trade places with him. Our drought and over 100 degree temperatures continue.
Our electricity bill goes up every time the temperature goes up. HH raised the thermostat in the house to 80 degrees. We have fans running in every room. It’s hard to get excited about cooking when it’s so hot. However, it is delightful to have something cool to drink.
Last winter I saw guava juice in the store. I can see the cardboard carton that it was in, but when I looked last week, I couldn’t find it. However, I did find a bottle of concentrated goji juice. Since goji is beneficial, I bought some. I’ve been mixing it with club soda. Today I mixed it with club soda and grapefruit juice. The combination was good.
I’m drinking more grapefruit juice because it helps reduce cholesterol, and my next cholesterol test is coming up later in July. Goji is best known for its anti-oxidant and anti-ageing properties, but it also helps cholesterol.
The benefits make the combination sound healthful for me. Even better is how it feels when I drink it in a glass full of ice sitting at the computer with the lights off and the fan on.
Our family loves to watch movies. My first date with HH was to a movie. We purchased our first VCR because SS was such a fussy baby that we dared not take him to a theater. When the kids were growing up, we looked forward to Friday “dinner and a movie” on the living room floor. Because I was a health nut, I bought an air popcorn popper – no palm oil or microwave popcorn for my family.
After the BTD, I gave up popcorn, but still made it for HH and DD since corn was a neutral food for them. Then HH’s blood sugar went over the line into pre-diabetes territory, and popcorn was banned from the living room. We all missed it. DD loves to look in the Blood Type Diet Recipe Center for new foods to try. She found a recipe for a popcorn substitute. We have made it twice now with our Friday night movies.
The first time we made it, we had serious doubts about whether it would work. We were “popping” walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a covered sauce pan as if they were popcorn. But it works just like the recipe says. You hear the pumpkin seeds start to pop, and you shake the sauce pan to keep them from burning. When the popping stops, they are ready.
We have not added the nutritional yeast. I know I would like it – I eat nutritional yeast in my breakfast every morning. However, we wanted the flavor to be as much like popcorn as possible for HH, and nutritional yeast can be a little strong for the uninitiated. DD, SS and I love faux popcorn. DD thinks it is better than the real thing. HH would still prefer popcorn, but since that is not an option, he is willing to accept this as an alternative.
The popped seeds have a roasted flavor similar to popcorn, but they are delicious in their own right. The biggest difference between popcorn and faux popcorn is that the popcorn is mostly air, so you can eat a lot of it. Since these are nuts, you wouldn’t want to eat a whole bowlful. Type “faux” in the search box in the Recipe Center and you’ll find detailed instructions.
I cooked lunch for my Mom on Sunday, and put together a nice vegetable combination.
She lives close enough to the coast that it’s easy to get wild caught Gulf shrimp. Sunday morning we went to the grocery store to buy shrimp to steam. Right next to the shrimp was a small piece of salmon, so I bought that as well. Mom had carrots and yellow squash in her refrigerator that needed to be eaten soon. I also wanted a green vegetable, and the okra looked good.
When we got back to the house, I put the salmon in the oven. On impulse I decided to stir fry the three vegetables together. The natural juices from the okra provided enough moisture that I didn’t have to add water at all. When the vegetables were almost done, I sprinkled on a generous amount of ginger powder. At the last minute, I steamed the shrimp. Lunch was ready.
Mom and I thought the ginger vegetables were really good. Okra and tomatoes cooked together are common, but I’m not sure I’ve seen okra cooked with other vegetables. Because they were stir fried without water, they were still crisp, rather than limply floating in a pool of juice. I will try this combination on my family soon.
Our church had a brunch between Bible Study and Worship on Easter Sunday. The lady who was planning it told me she had an oversupply of desserts, so I said I would bring stuffed eggs. That was a challenge, because sometimes my hard boiled eggs turn out perfect, but sometimes I can’t get the shell off without tearing the egg to pieces.
I went to the internet, read at least 10 recipes, and watched several You Tube videos. Each said theirs was the perfect way to cook hard boiled eggs, but each was different. I was cooking eggs for my church – I had wanted a consensus.
First I looked for points of agreement. They all agreed that using old eggs was better than using fresh eggs. I didn’t know that. I had 8 eggs in the fridge that were 2 weeks old, and a dozen that I had just bought. The statement about old eggs being easier to peel was true. I could identify the 8 old eggs as I was peeling them. Two sites said that adding a teaspoon of baking soda to the water changed the ph and made eggs easier to peel. I did this, and I think it helped, because even the fresh eggs peeled better than I expected.
Most sites said to put the eggs in tap water, and then turn on the heat. Two sites said put the eggs in boiling water. I went with the majority opinion. The temperature and cooking time varied a lot. I followed the recipe that said not to bring the eggs to a rolling boil, but to keep the temperature at a simmer where little bubbles were steadily coming up from the bottom of the pan. I cooked my eggs uncovered for 12 minutes after they started to boil.
Some sites said rinse the eggs in cold water; some said immerse them in ice water. I usually rinse in cold water, so this time I lifted the eggs out with a slotted spoon and quickly put them in ice water.
The most intriguing way to peel eggs was to take off a little bit of shell on both ends, and blow the egg out of the shell. I did not try this. I was preparing food for a church brunch, and I expected other cooks to use safe and sanitary methods. Blowing eggs will have to wait for a time when I’m cooking them only for myself.
The most common way to peel eggs was to roll them on the counter. I watched You Tube cooks get perfect eggs this way. It didn’t work for me. The eggs were peeling better than usual, but enough shell was sticking to leave indentations in the eggs. Still intrigued by the egg blowing technique, I removed a little bit of shell from both ends, and then held the egg under cool running water. There wasn’t enough pressure to push the egg out of the shell, but the water did seem to run under the membrane, and peeling was much easier.
Whether it was the 12 minute cooking time or the ice water bath, I don’t know, but there wasn’t a hint of gray or green on the yolks. They were a beautiful yellow. Pre-BTD I used a prepared dressing for stuffed eggs. This time I used half mayonnaise, half mustard, both made from neutral ingredients.
I liked the way they turned out – but would the church members? Indeed they did. I hardly brought any left overs home.
An Easter brunch is a great time of fellowship, but an Easter sermon should point us to the Savior. Here is a taste of what I heard last week – People will say some nice things about God. They may even show up in a church service and go through pious platitudes. They are comfortable talking about our culture, our country and our world. Everything will be ok as long as God doesn’t get pushy. As long as God doesn’t demand ownership, everything will be fine. Man would rather worship nature, a moral code, or himself (I can be a god) than face the all powerful creator-father God.
DD came home for the weekend to attend a training session for her summer job. Her roommate came with her to enjoy a few days of warm weather in the country. The roommate is also Type A, and she has been curious to watch how DD has eaten this semester. DD and I planned the weekend’s meals around beneficial foods that are favorites of hers. We had salmon (her family doesn’t eat much fish) and black eyed peas (which she gets only at New Years).
I wanted to fix spinach, because it is the most socially acceptable of the cooked greens. I suggested one of my favorites – spinach, raisins, and almonds - but DD reminded me that raisins are toxic for Teachers. So we used dried cherries instead. It was fabulous. I’ll never go back to raisins again.
Sunday night after they left, I had a craving for fried okra. Someone had posted on the Forum that they oven fried asparagus the same way I oven fry sweet potato chips. If it works for asparagus, why not okra? I poured thin film of light olive oil on a cookie sheet and added frozen chopped okra. I cooked it at 400 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes or so. I decided it was done when it was a little brown on the edges. That night when it was fresh and hot it was very good. I’ll admit it’s not as tasty as deep fried okra - usually coated in wheat flour and corn meal - but since that is no longer an option, this is a good substitute. I ate the left overs the next day. They were not as good – a night in the refrigerator cancelled all of the crispness.
I got my cholesterol report from when I gave blood in February. It is an improvement over my previous cholesterol report, but not quite what I had hoped. Last year my triglycerides were 72, and my ratio was 3.0 – both excellent readings. But for the first time in my life my LDL bumped above the magic 130 number. It was 150.
Some would have advised me to abandon beef and lamb which are so good for Type Os, but I knew better. I stayed with beneficial foods. I had become very liberal in my servings of beneficial oils and nuts. I cut those portions back within the BTD guidelines. I also added extra Vitamin B6.
The new report shows my triglycerides at 71 and my ratio at 2.9 – still excellent. My LDL has dropped to 135. I have let paperwork encroach on my exercise time way too often since my Dad passed away. I’ve missed the release of tension that exercise always gives me. Now I have a double reason for making sure that I don’t let desk duties distract me. I’ve also added some time release niacin just to make sure that the LDL isn’t sticking anywhere that it shouldn’t be. I’ll let you know what happens in six months.
I was at my Mom's over the weekend. The paperwork mountain is gradually being whittled away. I cooked for her on Sunday. We had steamed shrimp - a favorite for both of us. Alongside I fixed two vegetables that my husband does not like.
The first was yellow squash. Usually I fix it with onion, ghee, and salt. But Mom's blood pressure has been bouncing around a little. Sometimes high; sometimes low. We had already had Chinese take out, and I didn't want to over do the salt. So I was thinking beneficial no-salt seasoning, and curry came to mind. I cooked the onions until they were starting to get soft, then added sliced yellow squash and sprinkled curry powder over the top. Sorry I didn't measure. It was very good, and no salt was needed.
Mom loves greens, but my Dad didn't like them, so she got out of the habit of eating them. I picked up a bag of turnip greens from the freezer section at the grocery store. When she thinks of turnip greens, I know she thinks of cooking them in salt pork. I certainly didn't want to do that. I really wanted to make ginger greens (I blogged about that recipe a year or so ago), but I didn't have ginger juice. However, the store had a health food section, and I found dried ginger. I put half a bag of turnip greens in a sauce pan, swizzled some olive oil on top, and diced a handful of dried ginger. I cooked them on low heat so I wouldn't have to add water. The ginger flavor permeated the greens, and they were great. I should give DD credit for the idea. She told me she succesfully cooked carrots with dried ginger in the dorm microwave.
Two favorite vegetables, altered just a little because I was away from my own kitchen. Be bold! You can find new ways to fix old favorites.