Friday, April 25, 2014

Black-eyed Pea Salad

I love to have salads ready to eat.

This one was tasty - but I needed to change out some of the ingredients due to our diet restrictions*:
-did not to use lemon to add a sparkle.
-traded the onions for some leeks slices
-used pinto beans in lieu of black-eyed peas


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Craving peanut butter?

I love peanut butter.  Unfortunately, our 4mos diet says no nuts and no peanut butter*.

Roasted sunflower seeds are the answer.
They have a similar taste to peanut butter when roasted.
They give your mouth that bit of crunch when you eat them.
It satisfies my stomach the same solid way peanut butter satisfies.

And so easy.
Put seeds in a medium hot pan with a couple of drops of oil (I used sesame oil).
Keep turning to even the roasting.
Enjoy the smell !
And enjoy the great snack.  Easy and clean to take along.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples

Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples. Yum! So Tasty!
Perfect recipe.
Everything meets the 4mos diet ingredients.
Easy and quick.

Use this recipe for any pork product.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Corn and Bean Salad

Corn and Bean Salad is pretty.
I love the dark beans and the red peppers and the bright yellow corn.

And easy.
You can make from canned corn and canned beans.
I did soak my dried black beans and then cook them - but only because I've been trying to get into the habit of cooking my beans. Canned beans taste the same to me. (Be careful they have not added anything to trigger a migraine*)

I used frozen corn. Easy.

Trade the wine vinegar to distilled vinegar.

Vinegar salads always taste better the 2nd day.

It has been 2 weeks on this diet.
I am resisting using the Imitrex on my headaches.
I've had headaches 7 of the 14 days. Some put me out for the day. Some are just a few hours
I think they are lessening in severity. At least I know they are not getting worse.
I'm counting my blessings. But I'm spending a ton of time on food.
Thinking about food. Researching recipes. Planning grocery lists.
Being hungry for some of my old favorites.
But trying not to focus on what I cannot have - trying to learn how to make what I can have really delicious.

Stovetop Vanilla Pudding has been a crutch. I love it. I greatly reduce the sugar so I don't think I'm doing my body too much harm. It is my comfort food.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Making Vanilla Pudding? Have a plan for those egg whites!

If you are making that yummy Stovetop Vanilla Pudding, you are going to have a few egg whites leftover.

What can you do with them?  Keep in mind:  4-6 egg whites = 1/2 cup
If you have 2+ egg whites, you can make chewy Coconut Macaroons.
If you have 5 egg whites, you can make Berry Pavlova
If you have 12 egg whites, you can make Classic Angel Food Cake (reduce sugar to suit your taste)

These are all totally against the low carb portion of my diet.  So be it. I'm human :)


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stovetop Vanilla Pudding

I'm working on the Stovetop Vanilla Pudding recipe.

The first couple times cooked, the pudding was too loose for me and way too sweet.
I've cut the sugar in half.
Added 1T cornstarch.

Looks like with those modifications, this might be the right recipe for me.
We like to add fresh fruit - blueberries, strawberries, etc. Perfect touch!


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I bought a Turning Slicer to make pasta shaped veggies.
I am trying to not eat carbs, so making pasta shaped and textured veggies makes sense to me.

I made some swirly squash and pan heated it up and put a white sauce over it...delicious.

Also made Baked Sweet Potato Fries that are superb! The sweet potato had a harder time going through the slicer so I'm not sure I'll put sweet potato through again..


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holiday Green beans with Mushroom Sauce and Leek Rings

This is your traditional casserole that you take to Thanksgiving and Holiday dinners.
Actually, it is better. It doesn't give anyone the onion or MSG headaches*.

Make Cream of Mushroom Soup: SoupRecipe#1         SoupRecipe#2
-be sure swap migraine-friendly leeks for migraine-trigger onions.
-be sure to make sure your stock is MSG free
-use a little less liquid to make your soup a bit thicker

Steam the green beans.

Cut up a leek in onion-thick slices and fry them to put on top.

Take out your casserole dish and place in the green beans, pour over the lovely mushroom soup and top with crispy leeks rings.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roasting Veggies and Fruits

What a fabulous way to fix veggies and fruit.
And sooooo dang simple.
1. Cut up your fruits or veggies to about the same (eatable) size
2. Veggies: add a touch of oil & herbs.  Fruit: add a touch of sugar and herbs.
3.  Roast in the oven (from 350-400heat) until fork tender.

The roasting does something wonderful to the taste - takes all bitterness out of veggies. (If you don't believe me try roasting kale chips. And brussel sprouts!)
And fruit becomes caramelized. Just a touch.  Not too sweet but definitely changed forever.
And can be varied with ANY herb you want. Endless possibilities.

Do yourself a favor - use HALF (or LESS) of whatever amount of sugar they recommend. You only need a sprinkle of sugar - if that! Let the fruit taste like real fruit - not sugar.

Remember: do not use citrus or onions at all unless you know they are not one of your triggers*.

After tasting the goodness of roasting food in the over, you might even want to buy an outside grill - they taste even better (if that is possible)

Roasted Root Veggies
Tips and Notes on Roasting Veggies


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Breakfast revisited - Rooibos Tea & Homemade cottage cheese with fruit#2

Rooibos Tea - or Red Bush Tea - arrived yesterday.
I do like the hearty taste. And it is caffeine free.
Finally - a decent replacement for coffee*.

I wanted to give fruit and homemade cottage cheese another try.
I microwaved the frozen fruit - blueberries & strawberries - for 1min at level5.
I added the cottage cheese.
It tasted much much better.  The fruit was chilled but fruity.  The cottage cheese added to the flavor of the fruit. We'll try this for a bit and then look for improvements and alternatives.

Still having headaches pretty much daily. 
But I'm heading to bed with ice packs one head and heating pads on neck with 2naproxin. They are not heading into migraine status (high levels of pain and long hours) so that is an improvement.

Have I been poisoning my body with my diet for 30years? A diet of yogurt & fruit, bananas, citrus, onions? And caffeine. Has the most of my troubles been caffeine?*


Monday, April 14, 2014

Breakfast possibilities - homemade cottage cheese and fruit.

My normal breakfast is yogurt & nuts & fruit - strawberries, blueberries, apples, pears - whatever is in season and looking tasty.  I have always kept frozen blueberries and strawberries in the freezer to make sure fruit is handy.

I love the taste of plain yogurt and fruit and nuts. There is something wonderfully fresh about this combo.  I would eat it for breakfast and snack and dessert some days.  I love the walnuts in the combo for their crunch and density.  The yogurt would cover the fruit just enough to give the fruit a tang. It was healthy and I felt like I was doing something good for myself.

Yogurt is off the diet*.
Nuts are off the diet*.
But I'd like to still eat fruit with something.

Today I'm trying homemade cottage cheese with blueberries and strawberries - both frozen.  I'm waiting for the berries to loose their crystals. I find myself picking at the cottage cheese in hunger. It is all quite cold. I know I'm not giving this a good "try".

But this breakfast - hot water for beverage and icy strawberries, icy blueberries and cold cottage cheese - isn't working for me.

I know I need to find something steady for breakfast. Something that is ready to go in the morning. I want to keep trying until I get the right replacement.

Maybe I'll try ricotta cheese and fruit tomorrow. Put a bowl of fruit together the night before?


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finding a peanut butter replacement

Peanut butter has been a staple in my diet for years.
Putting a spread of peanut butter on apple slices or a banana really satisfies my hunger.
Peanut butter on toasted bread made a satisfying meal - even with a little cheater bread.
I didn't feel hungry after eating peanut butter.

But nuts and peanut (even though they are a legume) are off my diet for the next 4 months.
I am having that "hungry" feeling almost every day.  Sometimes to distraction.

Today I hunted for some sunflower seed spread recipes to see if I can replace peanut butter with sunflower seed spread.
This first one I tried is too garlicy, but I like the texture and the taste.  I had to add more olive oil and water to let the spread blend.
I do like to pan roast the seeds for a nuttier flavor.
It can be refined as I make more batches.
Sunflower Seed & Garlic Spread

Saturday, April 12, 2014

So what CAN I eat?

Headache yesterday.
Resisted taking Imitrex and took 2naproxin.  Rested with ice pack on temples and heating pad on neck.
Pinched the area between my thumb and forefinger as recommended by my new acupuncturist; I still don't see the benefits of acupuncture yet. But I'm pinching that area as I breathe deeply and fall into and out of sleep.
Amazingly, it went away after several hours.
Was it just a caffeine withdrawal?
Am I still processing rebound headaches?
Just taking this a day at a time.

I'm following the "do not eat" list from "Heal Your Headache" by David Buchholz* - about 130 trigger items.
Looking at the list, it feels like I cannot eat anything.
Certainly my 10-15 normal food items are not off the list.

Used to be I'd eat yogurt/fruit and coffee for breakfast.
Coffee 3-5xday - half caf / half decaf
Banana snack.
PB&J or tomato/cheese or dinner leftovers or a salad for lunch with milk.
Coffee and toast for snack.
Meat & veggies for dinner; lots of onions & avocados in season.
yogurt/fruit for tv time.
I've been trying to eat low carbs and avoid diabetic meds - so far successfully.

But the "do not eat" list includes almost all my normal 10-15 foods!
peanut butter
These foods are my easy to make, comfort foods that really satisfy my hunger.

Now that I'm transitioning out of these foods, I need something to take their place.
It is amazing how dear your "comfort" foods are to keeping your hunger satisfied.
I am thinking about food WAY too much.

I miss my coffee.
Tea is not cutting my craving at all.
Getting up is not as much fun right now.
I'm eager to get my Red Bush tea. Hopefully it will be my replacement.

What to use as replacement to yogurt & fruit?  And bananas? I eat those 2-4 times a day!
So easy to pick up and take along.
Clean to eat. Not drippy like an orange or even an apple. Not messy or crumbly.

I've made some homemade cottage.  Pretty yummy.
Cold fruit and cottage cheese isn't hitting the spot.
I tried heating it up this morning.  It was a little better.
It needs to be something easy and quick and satisfying and good for me. And easy to carry, store & eat.
Still looking.

Lunch standbys are still up in the air.
I'm trying not to eat bread so sandwiches are not my first choice.
I guess lunch has always been "catch as catch can" so it isn't so much different than before.

Dinner just needs more research than before.
Care taken to avoid the "do not eat" items.
Found a great recipe for butternut squash and pork chunks. Just needed to replace the onions with shallots and leave out the lemon.

More research for tonight's meal.

But I am in love with a vanilla pudding from "Migraine-Free Cooking!" by Heidi Gunderson.
2c milk, 2eggs and I've reduced the sugar by a third (I just don't like stuff so sweet).
Yum!  That satisfies my sweet tooth!  But it is more sugar than I normally eat.
I'm letting it into my diet as I make the transition, but it cannot stay on a daily basis.

I am eager to find my best mix of 10-15 food items that satisfy me and can always be found in my fridge.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Something to drink in the morning, plz.

I love coffee.
I can get myself out of bed in the morning because I know the $40 cappuccino maker will create a hot, frothy, creamy cuppa java in just a few minutes.
We drink so much coffee that our coffee maker usually dies in about 12 months.
We have taken our coffee maker on vacations with us - just so we don't have to be "without" our hearty brew.
Coffee is a treat for me.  Something I can brew up and feel really good about.

But today is day4 of my Migraine-Free Diet*.
I'm taking out the caffeine, tyramine, nitrate, nitrite, sulfite and chocolate from my diet in an attempt to get my headaches down from 10-15/month to under 2/month.

Day1 was painful.  The migraine started at 11am and didn't let up until late that night.
Day2 was better.  The migraine started about 4pm and I was only down for 4hrs.
No Imitrex.  Just two naproxin is all I am allowing myself so I won't get into rebound headaches.
Day3 held no headache.  I am encouraged.

But I need something to look forward to upon waking.
Something hearty and hot.
So far, the wimpy teas I've tried have not given me the satisfaction I crave.
Just hot water and milk have been better than the teas, so far.

I'm going to try Red Bush Tea from South Africa.
I remember reading about it in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.  And our dear neighbor who lived in South Africa recommended it.

I've ordered it from Amazon.  One hundred packets for $16 with 2day delivery.
No headache yet.  But it is early in the day.