Archives for: February 2005
It was such a great dinner last night. I was so excited about it, in fact, that in my exuberance, I accidentally pulled the shower curtain off the rod and into the bathtub. (Inside your head you are probably thinking, what????. Allow me to explain.)
Previously I had attempted to cook venison meatballs and failed. Last night, I switched out a couple of the ingredients (parsley vs. cilantro, etc.) but stayed true to the method of cooking this recipe. I also cooked some spelt noodles and served a mixed green salad. Worried that there wouldn’t be enough food, I threw in some sliced goat cheese.
Everybody ate till they were full. My two year old couldn’t get enough of the noodles, cheese and mushrooms, and I couldn’t get enough of the salad! Both my son and husband ate a healthy serving of venison and noodles, and the kitchen smelled heavenly.
Once dinner was over, it was off to the bathtub for the 2 year old. As I pulled back the shower curtain, the rod came clambering down on my head. I started laughing hysterically. It’s the simple things in life that make one truly happy. ……….
I’ve got so much to say today, that I don’t know where to start. I have a chance to help people with both health and weight issues, but due to liability reasons I am not allowed to discuss the BTD while at work. Previously being employed in the management field, I can understand the politics of this dilemma. I also realize that one must first work within the rules in order to change them. Now after having stated how I understand the multiple angles of the situation, let me say this: it’s a shame.
Still, if you want change without bloodshed, then patience and compliance are the keys to change. (Ironic, isn’t it?) Better yet, maybe the increased networking will one day allow me to help people “on the side” and after hours. The possibilities give me hope.
Switching gears now.....
Both kids loved breakfast today. I can’t get over how much satisfaction I get knowing that they love the taste AND it’s good for them. The A’s ate Scottish Oatmeal with dried cranberries, brown sugar, currants and rice milk. (Very yummy.) My five year old O ate his ground beef sausage patty, seasoned with homemade pizza sauce and a little more salt. He actually said that his sausage was “perfect.” I think he realizes how hard I am trying and remembers to appreciate it every once in awhile!
Since today is a very busy day, I made a double batch of mixed roots soup and rice. It will be the A’s dinner, along with some leftover spinach. Dad is helping fix the O’s supper tonight, so I will stress the “beneficials” at the table and leave the rest alone.
Hmmmm, change without bloodshed.
Food for thought.
My two year old is wickedly smart. He is also fearless. For a mother, this is not an easy combination to deal with on a daily basis. He loves to unscrew the bath tub plug and "shout" down the drain. (It echoes just a bit.) He also loves to pull the baby proof outlet covers out of their socket. I dread the day he outgrows his crib. It makes me tired just thinking about it.
I've learned one very important thing today in the kitchen. It's not so much what type of flour you use, but how you handle it. During my fourth pizza crust attempt, I hit the jackpot. Here's the recipe:
1 cup warm water (never over 115)
1 tsp salt
1 or 2 tsp brown sugar
organic rye flour (not pumpernickel) 2- 3 cups
If you get a chance, watch someone make crust from the cooking channel. After dissolving the yeast in the warm water and letting it sit for 5 minutes, there should be a bubbly concentration of yeast in the middle of the bowl. Add a little bit of olive oil. Mix the salt and brown sugar into the flour in a seperate bowl. Next, slowly add the flour into the water and yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon. Pour the doughy mixture onto a nonstick cookie sheet or a very well floured clean surface. Gently knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Pour a little oil in the bottom of a clean bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Turn the dough over and cover this bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for one hour.
After it has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into two equal halves. Here's the tricky part. Gently mold the dough into a flat circle. I held the dough between my two hands and gently clapped it over and over again- being careful not to drop it. Rotate the dough like a wheel as you clap. When you've got it as big as you can get it without it falling to pieces, then place it on the nonstick pan. You can gently spread it out a little more with your fingertips - but the more you touch it, the flatter and denser it will turn out.
Bake at 475 for about 8 minutes. My pizza crust (my fourth attempt today) turned out light and chewy - just the way my kids like it.
*I didn't include pizza toppings in this recipe, but you could certainly throw the toppings on before you bake it. Use a little oil as well. *
Here's one more non-yeast version:
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
salt (1 tsp)
brown sugar (2 - 4 tsp)
2 - 4 tsp of rumford baking powder
warm water - about one cup
The baking powder really caused this crust to puff up nicely. In fact, it's almost too thick. I chose to save this one for my O, and I whipped up some pizza sauce using tomato paste, olive oil, water, salt, minced garlic, dried parsely, brown sugar and dried basil. My five year old hasn't tasted this yet, but my husband said it "smelled" good.
If I have the energy today, the last one I will try will be a half rye, half millet combination. I have one packet of yeast left. Bless my husband. He said that he enjoyed the smells coming from my kitchen. That one compliment means a lot. Good eats, everyone.
Paying my BTD practioner to go to the grocery store with me was one of the most helpful things I have ever done. With paper and pen in hand, we looked at different types of foods together. Here's what I have learned:
If it says natural flavorings, don't buy it. It could mean anything.
Ask the guy behind the meat counter if they grind their meat at the store. Many stores receive their meat with literally a skull and cross bones sticker on it, because it has been (irradiated?). Forgive me, I am not certain how to spell the word he used.
Grill your meats for the O's. Medium rare preserves a certain substance (I forget what he called it) which they need for their brain.
Be much more afraid of corn syrup than of dextrose.
After spending an hour reading labels, I walked out with fresh meat, btd appropriate seafood at a good price, a very close to being compliant salad dressing (I just don't have time to make my own), and compliant spices. The salad dressing gave us the most trouble. We finally found one whose first ingredient was canola oil (cold pressed). Only one dressing out of hundreds didn't use soybean oil as the first ingredient! If you have a Woodman's grocery store in your area, consider yourself blessed.
The true reward came early this morning. My son was afraid of his grilled beef patty at first, but after a little coaxing and a little more cooking (it was just too rare at first), he ate it with gusto. The spice blend was from Reese and was a simple blend of salt, black pepper, garlic powder and celery powder.
I need to double check on the black pepper, but such a small amount was used that I think the benefits outweigh any possible negatives.
He ate it!
It was fast and easy and fresh!
The A's ate oatmeal with raisins and honey. Life is good.
Life is so funny. For example: my two year old got a hold of the cornstarch powder and “decorated” his room. I think he was trying to paint a picture of a blizzard. He succeeded. Luckily, this kind of experience just makes me laugh. Unlike others…..
I really enjoyed my dinner tonight. Here’s what I whipped up:
Green leafy salad mix (romaine, two other dark green things I can’t remember!), juice from ½ of a lemon, walnuts, honey, raisins, and a little olive oil
Grilled chicken breasts with three different spice combinations: salt and kelp (O’s or A’s), salt and cayenne pepper and parsley (O’s), salt and thyme and rosemary (A’s and maybe O’s). I used lots of olive oil and my indoor grill. Since the chicken breasts were FAT, I had to finish cooking them in the oven, but it was worth it. They were nice and juicy.
Lesson #1 – buy the free-range chicken breasts. Not only are they probably avoid free, but also they grill up much easier.
Steamed carrots and parsnips. Throw them in a bowl with a little olive oil, a little salt, and a little dried parsley. Yum!
Last but not least, toast your dinner with a little Sangria. I really loved this dinner. Now, here is the shocking part. My husband joined us. He didn’t eat any of the salad or touch the vegetable, but he ate the chicken without complaint. I can’t believe that I DID NOT try to please him, and he was satisfied with the meal.
How did he get full, you ask??? He chose to drink two big glasses of milk just before dinner. Interestingly enough (and no – I swear I am not lying), he complained of a stomachache immediately after our meal. I don’t dare point and say, “Maybe D’Adamo is right.”
But I know better. Hmmmnn.
A few blogs earlier I had written about the dinners that all four of us could eat AND tasted good to my husband. I was feeling successful. I thought that it was possible to please his taste buds and steer clear from all avoid foods.
I was mistaken. Here’s the good news. We are not fighting about it. We have peacefully decided just to go our separate ways. He understands that I cannot eat what he eats without becoming fat. He understands that our two year old has food allergies and cannot eat what dad is eating. He understands that our five year old needs to see meat, veggies and fruit at the table most of the time.
But he just can’t enjoy what I put on the table. “It doesn’t fill me up.”
“Eat more meat,” I say.
“I want my potatoes, “ he says.
Sigh. I just can’t give up completely. I am going to fix compliant spreads for my 2 yr old A and my 5 yr old O. Someday, when my 5 yr old son takes a good hard look at what Daddy looks like and feels like, maybe he will follow Mom’s lead.
Overall, if we can teach our son to respect people who disagree with you, then we have taught him how to get along with other people. That's gotta count for something.
Ordinarily, a person might feel a little depressed on such a day as this.
But not me. Ohhhh no. I am feeling fantastic! (I am probably a little pumped up on caffeine as well!) I have just had a very successful morning in the kitchen! Not only I am pleased with the results of my labors, but my children provided ample comic moments. The little one taste tested a magic marker and pulled a video tape from its casing. The oldest one was so intent on helping me bake “pumpkin cookies” that he got dressed without his underwear! He laughed at himself and then raced back to his room to fix the problem. Oh yes, I enjoy mornings such as these.
Here’s what I have been baking:
Banana Carrot Muffins (for the 5 year olds lunch)
Pumpkin Millet Cookies
Pumpkin Buckwheat Cookies
Pumpkin Millet Muffins
The banana carrot muffin recipes is as follows:
2 cups of organic pumpernickel flour (rye)
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 cup of very well mashed bananas
¾ cup canola oil
a dash or two of ginger
2 tsp baking soda
walnuts – ground into almost a butter
The original recipe came right off of this website. It was modified due to my five year olds tastes preferences and my lack of allspice! Since I like ginger and carrots cooked together, I assumed that it would taste good within this recipe. It’s exciting to realize that I am starting to “remember” taste combinations and can substitute as needed. I also think my son will love the crunchiness of this muffin due to the rye. (I believe he is an O secretor. If not, aye, yi , yiiiii.)
Here is the pumpkin millet recipe (A/0 friendly):
2 cups Millet flour
½ cup buckwheat
3 tsp baking Powder (Rumford)
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp ginger
1-2 cups raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup canola oil
1 ¼ cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp molasses
1-2 tsp vanilla
1 can mashed pumpkin
The recipe comes from the back of the Bob’s Red Mill bag minus the nutmeg. After I made the first batch, it dawned on me that this would become more beneficial if I switched the 2 cups to that of buckwheat vs. millet. Let me say that the buckwheat and walnut version is delicious!!! Oh yea, Oh yea.
I have one last bread I would like to make for the week. But it’s a tricky one. If zucchini and pecan taste good together, then why couldn’t I bake a bread with Kale and ???? Pecan? Walnut? What kind of flour would I use? Normally, I love the spelt flour with the zucchini and pecan. I think I will puree the Kale in the food processor with some type of oil (probably canola), add some brown sugar and then ---- take a leap of faith!
I do remember one thing. I do not like zucchini and oat flour together. Yuck. Wish me luck, please!
If you are asking yourself, why is she making breads using these odd combinations, let me tell you. It’s called a five year olds whimsical nature. I hope to get him used to the flavor of these vegetables, and then I will work on more obvious vegetable presentations. Good Eats Everyone!
I do not normally buy organic for one simple reason: We are on a budget!! But last week I gave in to temptation and picked up a bag of dried organic apricots. (No preservatives, no pesticides, yada, yada, yada. ) Imagine my surprise when I opened up the bag, tasted the "murky brown" pieces of fruit, and thought "these are the best tasting apricots I have ever had in my whole life!" They may not look like I expected, but they tasted wonderfully sweet. Were they worth the price? Yes. No doubt about it.
That still doesn't solve my problem. Pennies matter. I will tell you one thing, though. If there is anyway I can get away with it, I would buy organic all the time. Here's to wishful thinking......
All right! One more for the old cookbook! This dinner is so close to being 100% compliant, AND the family will eat it. With a few more Sundays under my belt, I hope to turn it into a 100% compliant spread. Here is what we had for dinner:
Salad - half iceberg, half romaine.
Croutons- homemade from ezekiel bread crusts, salt, garlic, parsely, olive oil
Dressing #1- chopped parsley and olive oil (thank you cusinart chopper)
Dressing #2- Veganaise spread with garlic powder and dried parsley. (There is one avoid in this for the A's and one avoid in this for the O's. I hope to upgrade this soon!)
Beef Muffins for the O's
Turkey Muffins for the A's
Leftover celery and raisins for the 2 year old who can't or won't eat salad
Glass of sangria for adults
Chocolate soymilk for the older 0
Rice milk for the 2 year old
Goat cheese or mozerella
Beef gravy (avoid - from a mix. Once I figure out how to make it from scratch and spice it the way the hubby likes it, I'll be jumping for joy).
Trying to please all family members and all ages can get tricky. But I am pleased with the process and the improvements we have accomplished. This meal may have had a total of 5% avoids, but in the past it was close to 50% at every meal! If you are curious, here's the recipe:
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion
2 ribs of celery
1 large egg
1- 2 cups spelt breadcrumbs
Tomato sauce or compliant spagetti sauce (for the O's)
1 cup or less chicken stock
2 tablespoons Kelp powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
sea salt - fine
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Puree onion, egg, chicken stock, kelp, cumin, tamari, salt, and celery in chopper/blender. Taste the puree and season accordingly (more salt? tamari? etc.) Combine ground beef, half of the sauce, and bread crumbs in a big bowl. Use plenty of bread crumbs as it soaks up excess moisture while cooking. Wash up and lightly brush muffin tins with olive oil. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes.
Repeat process with the ground turkey. Bake for 20 minutes.
Cut one of the muffins open and check to see if it has cooked completely. Serve with your favorite compliant sauce (could be the same sauce as above) or top with compliant cheese. Personally, I loved the turkey muffins with a slice of melted goat cheese and chives on top.
The possibilities for the "Meat in a muffin" tin idea are endless. It's also easy to hide veggies in the recipe and the kids love the visual spread. Good Eats Everyone.
Alas – no cooking day, but….
Unpleasant duties called me away from cooking day last weekend. However, not all is lost! I just spent the last hour organizing my BTD compliant cookbook and I feel rejuvenated!
My cookbook has 13 sections. It’s one gigantic black spiral notebook with 13 dividers, “a baker’s dozen, and individual pages covered by page protectors. At the very front of my spiral notebook is a typed list of food categories for both the A’s and O’s.
I.E. O A
Red Meat 4-6 0
Poultry 2-3 0-3
Seafood 3-5 1-3
This is leftover from my dieting days. Since my weight has remained steady, I no longer look as this list. But it’s nice to know that if I needed it, it would take only two seconds to pull this out of my cookbook and plop it on the outside of my refrigerator.
What’s really nice about this organizational method is the very last section. Can you take a wild guess?
Family Dinners… that my husband will actually eat!
They are as follows:
Baked Chicken Breasts, oregano, salt, thyme, paprika and salad
Pineapple Chicken served with white rice
Turkey Cutlets served with salad and corn (for A’s)
Chicken Strips – oregano, onion powder, salt, garlic with salad
Italian Chicken with salad
Sherry- Garlic Chicken N Mushrooms (Since the sherry is red, I am assuming it’s ok)
Pan fried Cod with rice flour, salt, paprika, ghee, canola oil garlic powder and an egg wash with rice pilaf on the side.
Turkey Burgers and Big Beef Burgers with mushroom gravy and salad (I use Ezekiel buns)
Oven Poached Salmon with Dill
I have a Rachel Ray take off “Meatloaf Muffins” and Turkey Muffins recipe I want to try. Adapting the BTD to her “30 minute meals” has really helped get dinners onto our table EASILY.
I am pleased.
Yesterday was one of those days where I could not figure out what to cook for dinner. I wanted to make something easy, but there were restrictions. For example, my two year old had been sick, and I knew that he needed grain and vegetables. (He had a reaction to two different items: too much chicken and a soy allergy. The poor child woke up three times during the middle of the night with stomach cramps and constipation.) Luckily, I had some barley malt and Aloe Vera juice on hand. I fixed him oatmeal with dried fruit and lots of barley malt for breakfast, pumpkin bread for lunch, apple juice mixed with aloe Vera juice, and finally --- the dinner dilemma.
Just before dinner, he “blew out”. I was actually quite happy, because I now knew that he would sleep through the night painlessly. Anyway – back to my quandary: I had two O’s to feed, and two A’s who needed to avoid meat.
In the end, I asked my husband for help. He willingly agreed to fix hamburgers for himself and my five year old. Meanwhile, I fixed a spinach and goat cheese tortilla. (Hooray for the health food store! They are selling both Ezekiel cereal and Ezekiel tortillas, which make a nice thin “pizza” crust. )
Much to be expected, I drizzled a little too much olive oil on the frozen tortilla and used the wrong pan! Can you guess what happened? That’s right- smoke. ( I am still laughing..) Next time, I will use a baking sheet and a lower oven temperature. But there is good news! The simple frozen spinach, salt, and garlic spread tasted wonderful with the goat cheese.
As a busy Mom, I still love making those easy dips in my little cusinart chopper. I buy the salted rice cakes (just brown rice and salt!) and use them like chips and dip. Whether it’s parsley, cilantro, leftover spinach, etc – I’ve always got something easy to whip up. I think I will have to try collard greens again with ?????? Hmmmmm, the possibilities!
Hooray! Two dinners this week my husband enjoyed! I wouldn’t say there were perfect, but you’ve got to start somewhere!
The poached salmon with rice turned out just fine. It also made an excellent leftover for my 2 year old A son the next day. I just threw some soy sauce in and presto!
Here’s what I did last night:
Cut slightly frozen chicken breasts into small square pieces. Toss with olive oil, garlic powder, salt, paprika, dried parsley and red cayenne pepper in a plastic Tupperware dish. Next, I made the plum barbecue sauce found in the Cook Right for Your Type book. (Yum! Plum and pineapple, ginger and soy, etc.)
Because I wanted to experiment with Kabobs, I stuck the “O” pieces of chicken on the wooden sticks. Lesson number one: cut these pieces very small! It took forever to get these things completely cooked!
Next, I brushed the “A” chicken pieces with the plum sauce and skewered them as well. Lesson number two: the sauce burns! It was just a little too smoky in my kitchen for comfort. (Ha ha). Next time, I will brush the sauce on the chicken close to the end of the cooking period.
Turn these kabobs frequently and get them nice and caramelized. (Oh, the simple olive oil helped make them so crispy and yummy! Of course, the “A” cook has to test the “O” spice combo for sampling purposes only!
Serve with a big salad pre-assembled (saves time) and a sliced Fuji apple or two. I have my nightly glass of Sangria – half of it 30 minutes before the meal and half of it with the meal. Technically, Dr Dadamo recommends as little liquid during the meal as possible, as it interferes with digestion. I am sure he’s right. But hey, I am just being honest!
Thanks for reading! Good day!
I am so lucky! I’ve been fortunate enough to enroll in a Women’s on Weights class and I am dedicating this blog to the art of strength training. If you are not interested in lifting weights or strength training, please skip this blog and enjoy some of the other writer’s escapades!
a) Select one type of exercise for each major muscle group. If you are at the YMCA within my city, you’ve got the choice of the CYBEX, Paramount, and In-Shape machines – just to name a few. You could also choose to use the benches, incline benches, barbells, E-Z Curl Bar, dumbbells, and balls on the workout mats.
*Note: There are many exercises that can be done at home which mimic some of the strength training machines. If you are like me and feel you need to stay at home, take heart! You CAN take care of sick children and still workout!
b) The major muscle groups would include: quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, calves and abs.
c) Work from the largest muscle groups to the smaller muscle groups. (Note – while this is recommended, it is not crucial. One will still develop muscle and tone if one chooses to vary the order.)
d) Frequency: 2-3 times per week – but never 2-3 days in a row. Give the muscles a chance to rest and rebuild.
e) How many? Lift the weight or repeat the exercise 12-15 times. Rest briefly, and repeat. 2-3 sets are recommended
*Here’s the funny part. I was completing only one set for about a year. Yes, I did develop tone. Yes, I did lose weight. But it probably took me a lot longer than it could have. Or maybe this is a good adaptation for A’s? After all, we are more about calming and relaxing than intense!
f) How fast should one lift the weight? Not fast at all! (Slow and controlled.) Inhale before the exercise itself, and exhale on the exertion. On the exertion, squeeze the muscle you are targeting, hold, and slowly release.
g) Increase your reps before you increase your weight. Why? I am taking an educated guess and saying that this prevents injury.
h) Stretch!!! Do this before you lift weights and in-between.
i) Never hold your breath.
The Paramount leg extensions, the ball squats, the Cybex Leg Press, and the “leg press” work the Quadriceps primarily.
The seated Cybex Curl, walking lunges, and standing lunges primarily work the hamstrings. (By the way, a lunge can actually work all of your leg muscles. This is an excellent exercise for all of your lower body.)
The barbell bench press, the cybex press, the dumbbell bench press, incline dumbbell press, and the flat dumbbell flies work the chest muscles.
The Cybex shoulder press, the dumbbell shoulder press, the upright row (dumbbells) and the front lateral raises work the shoulder muscles.
The seated incline dumbbells, the hammer curls, the EZ curl bar, and the dumbbell curls work the biceps.
The cybex triceps extension, the cybex dip, the bench dip, the cable push down, the kickbacks and the rope all work the triceps.
The seated calves machine, the one-leg calf raise and the angled raise works the calf muscles. (So does hauling laundry up and down the stairs!)
Last but not least, the ball, the thera crunch machine and the abdominal machine all work the abdominal muscles. This is a muscle group, which could be worked every day unlike the other muscle groups.
Strength training is really all about form and proper posture. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who are causing themselves injury every day. Thanks for reading. Good Day.