Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chicken Jalfrezi and Grandma's Rice Pudding

Tonight, I cooked Chicken Jalfrezi, which is a dish using Indian spices, chicken, and peppers. I found it on a candida (yeast) diet site (scroll down the site for the recipe).

I have never cooked with turmeric, coriander, or garam masala before. It ended up being pretty good, but a little bland, which was surprising to me. Next time I'll season the chicken first for sure, maybe the peppers too. But it was a nice change of pace with different flavors than I'm used to eating and cooking with. I will probably try a different Indian recipe in the future because I do enjoy the warmth of the spices.

After dinner, I made a brown rice pudding and frittata so I can heat my breakfast quickly and easily in the morning. I used my grandma's recipe for the rice pudding, except substituting brown for white rice, almond milk for regular, and xylitol for sugar. It turned out well and can be eaten hot or cold.

Here is the original recipe:

Grandma's Rice Pudding
1/2 cup white rice
3 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch of salt

Heat the milk and rice in a double boiler to a gentle boil. Cook until rice is done, about 30 minutes (note: longer for brown rice). Temper the egg and add it to the rice and milk. Add the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and bring back to a gentle boil for a few minutes. Add raisins if desired. Eat hot or cold.

I used less than 1/2 cup of sugar (xylitol) and it tastes sweet enough to me.

If you've never had rice pudding, you should try it. It's such a warm, comforting food. The rice and milk just meld together. I have many fond memories of making this with my grandma. I'd always request rice pudding or grilled cheese and tomato soup whenever I was there for lunch. I remember the rice pudding taking so long to make in my young mind, since it took more than an hour to cook. It was always such an anticipation to take that first bite. Delicious.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beef and Pepper Stir Fry

This is actually based on a kabob recipe I have used before, but after a mishap on the grill with the flames flaring up and singeing my veggies, I decided to take the kabob ingredients, add a few other things, and make it into a stir fry. It was DELISH!

Here is the kabob recipe. The only change I made to the marinade was to sub Xylitol for the brown sugar, and Tamari for the soy sauce.

It's great to use as a stir fry because then you can add whatever veggies you want. The veggies I used were:
  • Red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
I stir fried the meat (sirloin sliced thinly) in some canola and sesame oil first, then removed it from the pan. Drained off the grease, added some more canola and sesame oil and threw in the veggies to stir fry. Once the veggies were about done, I added the meat back in along with the rest of the marinade and stirred it all together for another couple minutes until it was all hot. Obviously, this would be great over rice, but it was very good plain too!

It was very flavorful and filling. Try it!

No sugar, no dairy, no what do I eat???

That was my initial reaction when I was told last week that, in order to help get rid of the persistent thrush my breastfeeding daughter and I have been passing back and forth for the past 2 1/2 months, I needed to make a drastic change to my diet. The American diet is so full of carbs and sugar, it's ridiculous! The idea with this diet regarding the thrush is to "starve" the yeast so they can't grow and multiply. So, in addition to medication, sterilizing and washing everything, probiotics, and other supplements, I decided to go ahead and try the new diet.

My midwife gave me the guidelines, and here is what I can eat:
  • Veggies (excluding potatoes)
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Most nuts (no peanuts/peanut butter)
  • Berries 
  • Citrus
  • Green apples
  • 1 serving of a whole grain per day (brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread, etc)
What can't I eat?
  • All dairy products (this is the hardest for me)
  • All processed food
  • All refined sugar
  • All white flour
  • All simple carbohydrates in general
So, rather than feeling defeated by my limited diet, I decided to take it as a cooking challenge! I have been making lots of yummy recipes and have found that, because I was cooking a lot from scratch already, it wasn't such a huge jump for me to modify our diet. I knew I had been eating too much sugar but lacked the motivation to kick the sugar habit. This was the motivation I needed. DO I still crave sugar? Absolutely. But thankfully, I can still eat berries, which are my favorite fruit and very much in season and sweet right now, which helps to curb my craving. I have also been using a no-sugar/carb sugar substitute called Xylitol to help sweeten things like iced tea, salad dressing, and my "quinoa pudding" breakfast I made.

I am excited to be able to post several new recipes I have tried that are part of my diet and all of these will be ones I will continue to make even when I am allowed to have dairy/sugar/grains again. Because of this diet, I have learned so much more about food, nutrition, and how the body processes what I eat. I am planning to keep a mostly low carb diet. And an added perk? Shedding some baby weight! I have lost 6 pounds in the past week!

Stay tuned for recipes!