Monday, May 4, 2009

Last week of school!!

I haven't posted on this blog for about two years. I almost completely forgot about it until this morning. I decided I needed something else to occupy my time. A project, let's say, that I can put effort into when I am bored or need to simply write about something. Since my last post I have moved out of my parents' and now live with some other college girls in a house. The past year and a half have been really hard--emotionally, physically, mentally--because of school, getting along with new people, and eating. I was officially diagnosed with gluten intolerance by having a blood test done in January 2008. I did fine for 6 months until my birthday. I'm not sure what happened after that, but the summer was really hard for me and I ate way too much--gluten, sweets, anything. In the fall of 2008 I continued to have a really hard time. This spring has only gotten worse. One of my roommates is becoming a nurse and recently did a research presentation on gluten intolerance. She told me some of what she found out. Apparently even though my symptoms are mild when I eat gluten I still need to avoid it at all costs--even if it's dusting on Doritos or soy sauce or some type of vinegar--because I can be damaging my intestines. Eating gluten can also lead to diabetes, kidney failure, malnutrition, and cancer, among other things. Cancer? Diabetes? Even though I have only mild symptoms? Say what? And what do I get to eat? Meat (check label on packaged ones), dairy (but no icecream with cookie dough in it, and no waffle cones!), vegetables (but I avoid corn), soup (but few canned ones, because wheat is used to thicken), fruit (this is the easiest), legumes (beans and lentils), rice and other random grains (but no oats or barley, which includes malt, often found in like, every packaged thing), and sweets (though, being hypoglycemic means my body hates sweets, even though my tounge loves them!). Yes, this may sound like a lot of food, and in fact, it is. This diet is extremely healthy because you're eating a lot of raw, whole, natural foods. Next time you're at your local super market and buying your regular food items, check the ingredients list (everyone should do this all the time anyway). Look for "wheat, wheat gluten, food starch, wheat protien, barley, malt syrup, barley syrup, oat, oat flour, wheat flour, gluten," among other things. Gluten is in a lot of things that you wouldn't think of--dusting on Doritos and other chips, soy sauce, beer...

I need to start cooking again, because I haven't in about two weeks and have been doing really bad. Hopefully after finals are over I can get back into my normal schedule. I need to get back on schedule...I'm also asking for a camera for my birthday and hope to be posting pictures of things I cook and off things going around on campus. Lastly (for today at least), I got distracted and totally forgot what I was going to say.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Turkey Giblet Gravy

Yes, I'm making gravy from turkey giblets. The fact that I'm using "giblets" cracks me up. Tomorrow is Christmas, so I've been cooking a lot today and will be a lot tomorrow, too. I had my wisedom teeth out last week and it's December, which means that I've been eating tons of sweets. I've probably gained 2 pounds. Seriously. I need to post because I've made lots of things, plus the camera is finally back. And I have no excuse, since I'm feeling better and I have no school or work. Soon, I promise!

I wonder if anyone reads this...well, I like to post anyway.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mexican Ham and Bean Soup

First, you have to observe my lovely Fiesta Ware mug that I got on sale the other day. Seriously, these things make me so happy ^_^ I actually wouldn't repeat this recipe, but I feel that it's important to put everything I make and take pictures of on here (that I get around to) because someone else might say "She's wrong, this sounds amazing" and want to try it. So, I made this soup the other day to use up some ham leftover from Thanksgiving. The soup turned out too bean-y, though, with not enough ham. Basically, no one is eating it! We'd much rather have chili, I suppose. Plus, the ham is glazed and good on its own. This soup would probably be good with just regular ham and much more!

Mexican Ham and Bean Soup (Adapted from Cooking Light)

1 pound dried pinto beans
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I actually used 4 cups of beef and 4 cups of chicken)
2 cups chopped onion (a medium sized one)
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cubed cooked ham (increase this to at least 2 cups!), about 8 ounces
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 bay leaves
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 14 oz can no-salt diced tomatoes
1 chili (I used one in Adobo sauce we had leftover. I washed it off first)

Sort and wash the beans, place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
Cook 2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain.

Combine beans, broth, and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) and bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender.

Stir in tomatoes and chili; simmer for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves and chili when ready to serve. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. Serves 8.

Nutritional value per serving with 1 tablespoon of cheese (I copied this from Cooking Light, but mine was probably different and served more than 8!): 303 Cal, 4.2g Fat, 1.8g Sat Fat, 958mg Sod, 47g Carb, ?? Sugar, 16g Fiber, 20g Protein


Monday, November 26, 2007

Cauliflower Cream

Yes, I'm bad, I haven't posted in forever!! I've been busy. And lazy. And have been trying to let mom cook more because I have a control-freak issue. I have still been having health issues, so I went and had my blood taken again today. I am a little irritated and feel pretty awful (achy, bloated, hungry, angry). I made this a couple weeks ago (on my best friend's birthday, actually). I finally got to use my immersion blender on it. Whoa, that thing is powerful!!! I would love to use it on a soup, but I don't know the best way to without burning myself!! Mom and I finally got a really nice food processor, too, which I made coleslaw with the other day. I would love to use it for something else soon. I bought some white whole wheat flour the other day and would like to find a recipe to use that on. I tried one tonight but it didn't turn out so well...I used Smart Balance Light spread for the butter, but real butter is actually probably better for you, so go with that. This was a little watery when I cooked it, probably due to the small casserole dish I used.

Cauliflower Cream--adapted from Veggie Venture (

1 large cauliflower (about 2 pounds)
1 tbl butter
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed
1 cup light sour cream
2 tbl butter
Pepper to taste
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Cut up the cauliflower and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet on medium heat, melt 1 tbl of butter. Add onion, garlic, and bouillon cube until tender. Combine the cauliflower, onion mixture, and 2 tbl butter in a bowl and blend with your immersion blender (careful, it's hot!!) OR, combine it all in a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a sprayed dish (bigger than an 8x8, what I used, but not sure on the size). Top with Parmesan cheese and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until warmed through. Should feed at least six, unless someone really likes it and is really hungry!

Nutritional Value per serving: 159 Cal, 10.5g Fat, 7.2g Sat Fat, 357mg Sod, 7.4g Carb, 3.3g Sug, 3.5g Fib, 2.7g Protein


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pumpkin Penne

I actually made this on Halloween along with a chicken with mushrooms and garlic dish. I hadn't really ever eaten pumpkin anything except bread, so it was fun to experiment. I was the one who liked this the best, of course, because I'm a pasta freak. I also tend to be the garbage disposal for new recipes--if no one else likes it, I feel it's my fault and therefore my responsibility to finish it all. I probably had this for six meals after Halloween. Throwing in sliced ham and warming it up for lunches was even better than just having this as a side dish, but you can do whatever you want. I used fresh sage from my pots, but dried would probably work as well. Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray's,,FOOD_9936_77075,00.html.

Pumpkin Penne

1 pound penne pasta (I used Dreamfields but you can also used whole-wheat)
2 tbl olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-salt chicken stock
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
1/2 c. low-fat milk
Pinch nutmeg
2 pinches cinnamon
Salt and pepper to flavor
About 10-12 sage leaves (mine were small, so I used a lot!)
About 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Sliced ham (optional, but really tasty!)

Follow instructions on box for cooking pasta, adding salt to the water. Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-heat. Cook shallots and garlic for about 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in the chicken stock through salt and pepper. When pasta is done, drain and add to pan. Sliced up sage, add cheese, and mix all together. Feeds at least 8

Nutritional Value per serving: 254 Cal, 4.6g Fat, 1.5g Sat Fat, 125.6mg Sod, 46.8g Carb, 3g Sug, 6.9g Fiber, 10.4g Protein


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Green Chili

I've been feeling bad lately--head aches and stuff. Emotionally I'm messed up to. I really don't know what to do with all of my feelings. Every night I go to bed and lay awake dreaming about what to make next. Then I'll look on Blogs and get depressed because I'll never be as good a cook as other people (I think). I'm excited about taking a class next semester at a local Culinary School. I'm sad because I don't think my dream of owning a resturant or baker is practical or within reason.

Then I'm dealing with school and everything else.

But check out that green bowl! I love Fiesta Ware! I get sooo excited every time I get something new ^_^ We were supposed to have a cold front yesterday, so I planned to make Green Chili. It didn't really get cold. Oh well. First I had to track down Pale Ale. Actually, mom had to, since I'm not old enough to buy it! It ended up being a pretty expensive meal because of the beer and lean meats. However, it was a successful experiment. The meat was tasty without feeling like I was gaining weight while eating it. The lime and tomatillos added a nice taste to it. The beer was also what gave this a different taste...but next time I'd try some kind of wine or just more broth (because it's cheaper!)

This recipe originally came out of our newspaper, but I changed it around and really have no idea who to give the credit it--sorry!

Green Chili

2 tbl olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tea cumin
1 tea paprika
1 tea chili powder (heaping)
1 tea dried oregano
2 pounds ground turkey and chicken (I used 1 pound each)
5 medium tomatillos (green tomatoes), husks removed, washed, and diced
2 tbl pickled jalapeno peper slices, diced (I took out the seeds)
6 ounces pale ale beer (about 3/4 cup)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 14oz can navy beans, drained and rinsed off
About 6 ounces of fresh spinach, chopped up
Lime juice, salt pepper to taste, cheese to top

1. Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, and spices, saute until tender. Add meat and cook until all brown. Add the tomatillos, japaneos and beer. Bring to a boil until the beer is reduced, but don't let it burn. You'll probably be able to smell the difference. Add broth and beans and simmer. Cook 10 minutes or so, stirr occasionally. Add spinach and stir until wilted or desired done-ness. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice (no idea how much :p) Season with salt and pepper and top with cheese!! Feeds at least 8.

Nutritional Value per serving (without cheese): 304 Cal, 19g Fat, 3g S Fat (I think this is wrong, sorry!), 228mg Sod, 9g Carb, .5g Sug, 2.6g Fiber, 23.5g Protein


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lentil Soup with Ham and Greens

Alright! I succeeded in not posting at all in October! Obviously I was busy...

I have been feeling bad again recently. My head hurts most of the day. My blood sugar messes up easily. I'm frustrated because I don't know what's wrong. I have random annoying mood swings, too.

We finally had a cold front last week and I made several soups. Here's one I made. I really love lentils because they're amazingly good for you. Full of filling fiber, yum! I adapted this recipe from Cooking Light. See original here--

Lentil Soup with Ham and Greens

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups less-sodium chicken broth (can use fat-free)
1 1/2 cup dried lentils
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery (2 sticks)
2 bay leaves
3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cup chopped smoked ham
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, lentils, carrot, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add spinach and ham; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; stir in tomatoes, basil, and thyme; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Serves 6.

Nutritional Value per serving: 183 Cal, 5.5g Fat, 1.3g Sat Fat, 1089mg Sod, 25.5g Carb, 4.3g Sugar, 11g Fiber, 17.4g Protein