This week was our Strong Son's birthday. As I planned his birthday dinner I wanted to cook some old favorite foods, and I wanted to try a new recipe. The old favorites were chicken breasts with broccoli, butternut squash soup, and egg custard made with almond milk. I served the egg custard over blueberries to make it festive, but truthfully, I like it better plain.
SS is a Type O who loves pasta, so I wanted to try a new recipe with Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta. I have bought many neutral grain pastas over the year, and Tinkyada is the only brand that is as good as traditional pasta. If you can't get Tinkyada in your local health food store, you can order it from VitaCost.
SS also likes Mexican food, and I wondered if anyone had tried Fajita Pasta. There was nothing close on the Blood Type Diet Recipe Center . Though I did see some other intriguing pasta recipes that I want to try. When I Googled Fajita Pasta, I found several recipes, but none of them were BTD friendly, and almost all of them relied on packaged seasoning mixes. I chose one recipe that came close to what I had in my head, and made a lot of adjustments.
Bell peppers are avoid for Type As, but they are neutral for non-secretors. There are several things that make me suspect my Honorable Husband is a non-secretor. Someday I need to get him tested, but I did not worry about his eating the peppers in this recipe.
Here is the recipe I came up with. I served it as a side dish without chicken for the birthday dinner. I'm going to make it again next week with chicken for a ladies' luncheon. My family gave it rave reviews.
8 oz Tinkyada Pasta spirals or elbows
2 Tbsp light olive oil
1 white onion, sliced into strips
1 Green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 Red bell pepper, sliced into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup black beans
Optional additions: chicken breast cubes, chopped tomato, guacamole,
How to make it:
Cook pasta according to directions
Stir fry onion, bell pepper and garlic. When vegetables are soft, add seasonings. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes to blend flavors. Mix pasta, vegetables and beans together. Add chicken if desired. Top with tomato and guacamole if desired.
Saturday I took a friend who lives in San Antonio out to lunch for her birthday. I had read on the internet about a Hawaiian restaurant called Aloha Kitchen. It is a tiny restaurant in a strip center; probably more of a café than a restaurant. I had expected to find lots of tropical fruit and coconut on the menu. Instead they serve a variety of meat and rice dishes with oriental sauces which celebrate the blend of cultures in Hawaii today.
I ordered a combination plate with Huli Huli chicken and Draggin' Meat. I chose mixed squash and a spring roll for my two sides. Everything was delicious.
I had told our server that we were celebrating my friend's birthday. They hung leis around her neck and sang Happy Birthday in Hawaiian, accompanied by a ukulele, of course. Then they brought her a piece a guava pie. I ordered a slice of mango pie. What a perfect way to end an unusual lunch.
On the drive home, I turned on the radio and listened to a show about GMO foods. I confess I was ignorant about the subject. The two things that caught my attention were a list of ingredients to avoid if you wanted to stay GMO free and a list of ailments that some research associates with high intake of GMO products.
The radio guest said there were eight foods on the GMO watch list. Corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets are almost always GMO. In addition some papaya and a small percentage of zucchini and yellow squash are also GMO.
I really don't eat the first five on the list. Corn is avoid for Type Os. Soybeans are toxic for Hunters and Gatherers. There are so many beneficial oils, that I don't waste my time with canola or cottonseed oil. I sweeten with agave, honey, or turbinado sugar, not beet sugar.
The radio guest was particularly concerned about high fructose corn syrup. I agree with her about avoiding any product with corn syrup on the ingredient list, though our reasons are different.
The radio show emphasized a French study that was released in the fall of 2012. I read some more about it when I got home and was disappointed. They fed the rats in the study GMO corn, and gave them water mixed with Roundup herbicide. The rats developed lots of problems particularly breast tumors and organ failure. The results lost their impact on me because two potentially dangerous variables were used.
Making rats drink water mixed with herbicide is cruel, and I'm not a bit surprised that it led to health problems. How am I to know which problems were the result of the GMO corn, and which were the result of drinking herbicide?
As a Christian, I believe that the closer we eat our food to the way that God created it, the better off we will be. So I am skeptical of GMO in the same way that I am skeptical of any processed food.
I'm glad to have a short list of GMO foods to watch out for, and glad that none of them are foods that I often eat. But I do not approve of the scare tactics used by the French study or the radio show guest.
Since Aloha means both hello and goodbye, I'll say hello fun Hawaiian food and goodbye GMO.
The past week has been unusually warm, and I took advantage of it by going for a bicycle ride.
Oh my! I discovered muscles that have been neglected for nine months. I had so much fun doing water aerobics and tubing last summer that I didn't ride my bicycle much if at all. I usually ride a lot in the fall, but between two mini vacations and HH's Mom being in rehab, I don't think I ever got the bicycle out of the garage. So I haven't done any consistent bicycling since last spring.
I have not neglected exercise. I work out at the fitness center twice a week. I still do the line dancing class once a week. I hike with the hiking club and with my husband. I run when the weather is not too cold. Each form of exercise uses different skills and different muscles.
As soon as I got on the bicycle I knew I had neglected my biking muscles. The most embarrassing and frustrating moment was at the end of the ride. There is a hill right before you get to our house. You come to it at the end of a ride, when you are already tired. Five years ago when we moved here, I had to walk my bike up that hill. Gradually, as I got stronger, I could traverse the hill and ride all the way to the top. Then came an exciting day when I rode straight up the hill. What a great feeling, physically and emotionally!
This week, I approached the hill with confidence. About half way up I thought, "I'm not going to make it." I peddled harder, countering my negative thoughts by saying aloud "Yes I am!" As HH often says - reality will prevail. I could tell that I was about to stall, and I did not want to risk a fall. I hopped off the bike and walked it the rest of the way.
If the weather stays mild, I'll give those unused muscles another chance next week.
Something happened his week that took me back to my college days. My roommate Alice and I had moved out of the dorm and into an apartment. Both of us copied favorite recipes from our Moms and we were excited about cooking in our own kitchen.
We were also both on a tight budget. One day Alice told me to come home prepared for a delicious dinner. She had found a great deal on chicken and was going to make one of her Mom's best recipes - Chicken Diablo. When I got in from class the apartment smelled wonderful. But when we sat down to dinner we realized the great deal on chicken had been on a package of wings and backs. We had a fabulous sauce but almost no chicken. Wings are mostly bone and skin. Backs are just bone. It was a poignant lesson for two young women.
At least I thought I had learned the lesson. I guess I needed a refresher course, because last week I found a great deal on frozen cod, and I bought it.
I decided to make my Mother's seafood Creole recipe. She made it with shrimp, but I was going to use the cod. I started the sauce first. It wasn't long before the kitchen smelled wonderful. I opened the cod. Oh my! I did not know fish could have gristle. I had a package that was mostly bone and tough connecting tissue. By digging and scraping I eventually found a respectable amount of cod, which I mixed in with the sauce.
I served the Creole over steamed brown rice. HH thought it was delicious. It was delicious...but it would have been so much better if I hadn't skimped and tried to save money on the fish.
Fried chicken is a Southern classic. Chicken Fried Steak is a Southwestern version of that Southern classic. Pre BTD I loved Chicken Fried Steak. I was never particularly good at making it, but I ordered it every time I could in a restaurant. After the BTD it became one of those foods like pizza - it wasn't really good for any blood type. The beef was bad for my husband, and the flour was bad for me.
I didn't miss it a whole lot, except when we would eat out with our Strong Son. He would smile as he enjoyed his Chicken Fried Steak and say, "Now Mom, you know I don't eat as much wheat as I used to, but I'm not taking this diet as seriously as you do." My mouth would water.
Last week I bought a package of turkey cutlets. Usually I cook the cutlets with barbeque sauce in the oven. I live in Texas so naturally there are 25 - 30 choices of barbeque sauce in my grocery store. Of those, 2-3 are free of high fructose corn syrup and other avoid ingredients.
Since my New Year's resolution is to try a new recipe every week that both my Type A husband and my Type O self can eat, I began to think what else I could do with the turkey cutlets. If Chicken Fried Steak was good, I wondered what Chicken Fried Turkey would be like. Back in the days when vegetables were popular and people ate at the cafeteria every Sunday after church, Luby's Cafeteria made some of the best Chicken Fried Steak. They had published a 50th anniversary cookbook, and I had bought one. Sure enough their Chicken Fried Steak recipe was in the cookbook. Here is the recipe - with my BTD changes.
3 large eggs
1 cup milk (substitute almond milk)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups flour (substitute rice flour)
2 1/2 pounds of round steak cut in pieces (substitute turkey cutlets)
Oil (I used light olive oil, but it smoked too much, next time will try grapeseed oil)
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, seasoned salt, and pepper.
Place flour in a shallow bowl.
Pound the meat with a meat mallet to 1/4 inch thickness. Coat with flour. Dip into egg mixture, then again into flour.
Heat 1/8 inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook meat 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until browned and cooked through.
Except for the smoke from the light olive oil, this recipe was a big success. It tasted delicious. My Honorable Husband said, "Great dinner."
I will probably use less milk next time. There was too much of the egg milk mixture left over. When I warmed up the leftovers, the coating was not as crisp as it was the night I made them. Next time I will refry them just a little in oil so that the leftovers will be as good as the original.