Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

This is a recipe I found in the February 2008 issue of Diabetes Forecast, from Mr. Food Diabetic Dinners in a Dash by Art Ginsburg.  It is simple and tasty, with a rich supply of vitamins E, C and Beta-Carotene from the red peppers.  I added just a splash of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and about a scant tablespoon of tahini.  These are not included in the nutritional information. 

2 cans (15 oz. each) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained with 1/3 cup liquid reserved
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained
3 garlic cloves (or 1/2 head of garlic, roasted in the oven)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients, including the reserved garbanzo bean liquid.  Process until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to use. 

(as provided in the magazine recipe)
Servings per recipe: 14
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Calories: 83
Total Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 281 mg
Total Carbs: 1 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 4 g

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garlic Scapes-Kale Pesto

My friend, Christal, gave me a bag of garlic scapes, with a recipe for pesto.  She explained that these cute curly stems were the tops of a hard-neck variety of garlic. In my additional reading about them, they were described as somewhat less potent than the typical garlic. But to be on the safe side, I think they are still best consumed with garlic-loving friends.

Typical pesto recipes contain high amounts of olive oil, so I substituted the more easily digestable coconut oil.  The heat in my kitchen in these sweltering summer days had already liquefied it, making it easy to make the pesto.  I also reduced the amount of nuts, and used walnuts since they contain the healthy Omega-3 fats.  I also added kale to boost the nutrition.  This idea came from my favorite blog, 365 Days of Kale.   The resulting pesto was delicious!   Quite tasty on whole grain crackers. 

1/2 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup chopped lacinato kale,  (tough stems removed)
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
1/4 cup coconut oil (liquefy on low-power in the microwave)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Put garlic scapes, kale and walnuts into a food processor and process until very smooth.   Slowly add the coconut oil.  Transfer contents to a bowl and add the Parmesan cheese.  Mix thoroughly.  Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Servings per recipe: 16
Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Calories: 53
Total Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 1 mg
Sodium: 32 mg
Total Carbs:  2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0
Protein: 1 g

Monday, July 18, 2011

Thyme Rolls On

The intense heat that we have been experiencing in Duluth for the past several days is so rare.  It has resulted in prolific growth of all of the herbs, including thyme. This creation is my adaptation of a recipe promoted by a national herb organization.  The original recipe used full-fat cream cheese, so I substituted a combination of plain yogurt and Fage Greek yogurt.  This particular brand of Greek yogurt is quite high in protein and low in carbohydrates.  Both of the yogurts in this recipe contain probiotics, which are useful for improving digestion as well as supporting the immune system. 

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup non-fat Fage Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
1 Tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon finely minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process till smooth and creamy.  Chill for about 2 hours.

Servings per recipe: 16
Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon
Calories: 9
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 8 mg
Total Carbs: 1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0
Protein: 1 g

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Basil Coconut Oil Pesto

Pesto had been one of my favorite foods prior to cancer and I considered it off-limits to me now because of the high amount of fat in it.  So I looked at my basil with longing yesterday.   Then I pondered the possibility of making pesto with coconut oil rather than olive oil, and reducing the amount of nuts in it.  Necessity is not the only mother of invention.  So is desire. What I created out of longing and desire was truly delicious. 

4 cups lightly packed fresh basil (4 ounces)                           
1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup coconut oil (liquify it on low-power in the microwave)

To toast the nuts, place in a single layer in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Cool before using in this recipe. In a food processor or blender, combine the basil, nuts, and garlic.   Cover and process or blend well.  With the food processor or blender running, add the coconut oil.  Process or blend until combined.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Makes about 3/4 cup pesto. 

Servings per recipe: 16
Serving Size: Almost 1 tablespoon
Calories: 58
Total Fat: 6 g 
Cholesterol:  3mg
Sodium:  58mg
Total Carbs: 1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 2 g

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tyfon Greens Juice

Holland greens (also called Tyfon greens) are a member of the brassica rapa family of greens.  It is a cross of the Chinese cabbage and stubble turnips.  Its membership in the brassica rapa family is what prompted me to order the seeds. The phytochemicals in the brassica rapa foods are touted to work in a number of ways to prevent or suppress cancer.   As soon as the seeds arrived from Pinetree Garden Seed and the soil was warm enough, my husband, Tom, planted them.  They quickly germinated and brilliant green leaves appeared soon after.   So, I began to wonder how I would use them.  The seed catalog had described them as milder tasting than most other brassica greens since they don't have any mustard oil in them.  I thought this made them ideally suited for juicing.  This coupled with temperatures warm enough for me to be excited about juicing my vegetables rather than making soups inspired my creation.  I rinsed them thoroughly and put them through the juicer with my other favorite juicing ingredients and was wowed by the refreshing, pure flavor!  I will definitely plant Tyfon greens again next year.  

I talked with the dietician at my medical center about how to calculate nutritional information for juice that is created with a juicer.   She advised me to enter all items as I normally would and simply delete the fiber, since that is what is extracted with a juicer. 

2 cups Holland Tyfon greens (roughly chopped)     
5 -6 kale leaves
1 large cucumber
3 stalks celery
1 cup parsley
1" slice fresh ginger root
1 granny smith apple

Thoroughly wash all ingredients.  Put them through a juicer and sip with delight.   (My juicer is simply a Jack LaLane Juicer, so I usually peel the cucumber and apple before putting it into the juicer.  I also strip the heavy stems from the kale leaves.  This makes it much easier for my juicer to extract the juice from the fiber.)

Servings per recipe: 4
Serving Size: Approx 1 cup
Calories: 66
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 62 mg
Total Carbs: 15 g
Dietary Fiber:  0
Protein:  3 g

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Strawberry Basil Freezee

Ah, the generosity of friends is incredible.  Yesterday morning, a friend delivered a bucket of strawberries that she had just picked, knowing that it is now difficult for me to pick berries myself.  Tom had planted a few plants in our garden, and these resulted in the berries in this photo.  But to have a whole bucket full of berries was awesome.  Inspired by her goodness and the abundance of basil in my deck pots, I made this freezee.  Recently, I heard that basil and strawberries was a good combination, but I was skeptical...until I tried it!  Delicious!

1 cup sliced strawberries
4 - 5 fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup skim ricotta cheese

Put all ingredients in a blender to puree.  Divide the contents into two freezer-safe containers. Freeze for several hours. 

Servings per recipe: 2
Serving Size:1/3 cup                                                           
Calories: 68
Total Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol:10 mg
Sodium: 39 mg
Total Carbs: 8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2
Protein: 4 g

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

This is an adaptation of  Bangkok Butternut Squash Soup from The Dysphagia Cookbook by Elayne Achilles.  My son, Caleb, gave this cookbook to me as a gift.  There are several pureed recipes in it that I have modified for my needs.   This particular one is superb! It is just the right combination of spicy and  mellow, and became a family favorite when I made it in January. My son, Dan, created a beautiful illustration for squash and I was eager to post a recipe with it. 

1 small butternut squash, peeled, cubed and roasted
(yields about 2 1/2 cups of mashed flesh after roasting)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry sauce (adjust to your taste, it is spicy!)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk (nutritional info was calculated using regular, not light)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Peel and cube uncooked squash.  Roast in a 375 degree oven, until tender, about 45 minutes.  While the squash is roasting, place the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and ginger, and saute until tender.  Stir in the Tahi curry sauce and cook for 1 minute.  When the squash is cool, measure it to have 2 1/2 cups of mashed squash.  Add the squash, chicken broth, coconut milk, salt and pepper to the sauteed onion, garlic, ginger and curry mixture.  Bring all to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly, then puree.  If a thinner consistency is desired, add more broth.  Stir in the lime juice.  Serve hot.
Servings per recipe: 5
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 178
Total Fat:11 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 524 mg
Total Carbs:18 g
Dietary Fiber: 4g
Protein: 3 g