Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Homemade pasta sauce, HEALTHIFIED!

So in my search for a tomato sauce to put on my pasta, not eating ANY sugars, I was very discouraged by what's available at the grocery store. I'm not the type to let sauce simmer all day, I like things quick, so that's why I developed the following recipe.
When choosing a pasta, I always use either whole wheat or brown rice pasta. White flour and white rice pasta is just "filler food," no nutrients. Why eat something if it's not nutritional? I definitely don't.
- 3 tbsp. grapeseed or olive oil (or any other oil you'd like to use)
- one medium-large onion, chopped (I like to use Vidalia onions because they're sweet)
- one medium-large bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- 4 large tomatoes, diced into half inch cubes
- 1-2 lbs. of ground chicken or diced chicken breast, cooked
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. parsley
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- 1 six ounce can tomato paste
- Whole wheat or brown rice pasta
To begin, start water for pasta. While that is going on, you will be making your sauce. On high heat, pour oil into large saute pan and add garlic, onions, peppers, spices and (optional) salt. Once veggies start to sizzle, turn heat down to medium high. Let cook for about 10 minutes, tossing every minute or so, or untl veggies start to get tender. Turn heat down to medium, then add in diced tomatoes. Let cook for another 10 minutes or until tender, tossing every minute or so. Then add in cooked chicken and tomato paste, and keep the heat on medium, until everything is nice and hot.
Let cool for a few minutes and serve on top of pasta.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Chow Mein... HEALTHIFIED!

Forget the Chinese food take-out and try this homemade Chicken Chow Mein recipe. (or if you'd like, you can make it with any other meat/seafood of your choice) It's delicious, good for you, and no worrying about eating tons of fat, calories, or additives, like you do when ordering take-out.

With all my allergies, I get very nervous when I get take out or go out to eat, so I solve that problem by simply not going out to eat. It's somewhat difficult to do, but I really don't know what they're feeding me in those restaurants, so I just don't bother, overpriced food is just not worth getting sick (or fat!). One of the things I miss the most from Chinese take-out is Chicken Chow Mein, which inspired me to make up this recipe. It was delicious, so I'm passing it on to you all.

Be careful when choosing a soy sauce for this recipe if you have any allergies or are trying to stay away from sugar, like I am. I found only one soy sauce on my grocery store shelf that did not have sugar, but unfortunately it did have wheat. It was a name-brand low-salt soy sauce, I don't like to give brand names, but I'll tell you that. Just want to note as well, that for people who are on the candida diet, it is recommended that you only consume soy sauce occasionally. But all in all, I would just say to listen to your body, and it will "tell you" if it disagrees with something you've eaten.

You may consider getting a wok to make this recipe; there's a lot of ingredients to saute, and it's good to have a large wok to fit them all in. (remember, the veggies will "shrink" as they cook)

- one small head of cabbage or bok choy
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 sweet bell pepper (I used orange, but any color may be used)
- 1 small onion
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp. grapeseed oil (or other oil of your choice)
- approximately 1 lb. of chicken (or other meat), fully cooked and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I recommend grilling the meat, to "cook out" most of the fat, but baking or other methods are also okay if you'd like!)

- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. corn starch

Before you begin, be sure to decide what you are going to serve with the chow mein: I usually make rice with it, but it can also be made with Chinese noodles, or with chow mein noodles sprinkled on the top. (be careful not to have too many of these chow mein noodles, because they are usually fried in fat, and not so healthy for you!) Cook the rice while you make the chow mein, so that everything will be done at the same time. Awhile back ago, I purchased a rice maker. It makes cooking rice so simple: You just measure the rice and water, and just click the button. The rice cooks, and the button clicks back up when it's finished. Seriously, it's that simple. You can get small ones for about $10 or a large one for about $20-25, they're usually available at any department or grocery store, or sometimes drugstores sell these as well. (That's where I got mine.)
Now on with the directions for the recipe:

To begin the chow mein, pour sesame oil and grapeseed oil into wok and move wok around to coat the surface with the oil. Cut cabbage half and then slice thin (about 1/8-1/4 inch thick), place cabbage into wok, breaking it into pieces as you place it into wok, so that it looks like thin strips. Slice celery into 1/4 inch slices and add to wok. Slice onion into thin slices and cut pepper into thin slices, then cut pepper slices into 3 shorter pieces, add both of those ingredients to the wok as well. Turn heat on high, and then turn down to medium when you hear it start to sizzle. Cook for approximately 25 minutes, tossing every 2 minutes, until vegetables are wilted and start to tenderize. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, turn on heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk (or fork, if you do not have a whisk), and let boil for one minute (continue stirring constantly). While making sauce, add chicken to vegetable mixture in wok, keeping heat set to medium, and toss for another 5 minutes. Then add sauce to wok, toss to combine and serve.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

YUMMY HEALTHY! - Russet Potatoes with Zucchini, Red Peppers, and Onions

I apologize for by absence. I've been spendng the last few months trying to figure out a new diet/lifestyle. I have to make pretty drastic changes to my diet, by cutting out all sugars, white flours/white rice (I eat brown rice instead), citrus fruit, and any other acidy food because I just recently found out from my allergist that I have a candida overgrowth problem; This problem is thought to be the cause of many cases of MS (multiple sclerosis), Lupus, Celiac's disease, mental illnesses, Cancer, and many other health, autoimmune, and chronic illness problems. I'll talk more about that some other time, let's get to the recipe.

The followng is a recipe that is within the guidelines of the candida albicans overgrowth diet, and is gluten free, soy free, and dairy free. Very healthy, and great if you're trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight. Use your own judgement as far as how many potatoes you would like to add into this recipe, depending on your set daily carb intake, add/remove potatoes accordingly.

The recipe is as follows:

- 4 tbsp. grapeseed oil (or other oil/butter you'd like to use, I use grapeseed oil because it's very good for you and tasty)
- 2 tsp. Adobo seasoning salt (or any other sugar/MSG free seasoning salt of your choice) For people with blood pressure or cannot consume a lot of salt, use Mrs. Dash
- 3-6 zucchini squash, depending on size, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 medium-large onion, thinly sliced (I love Vidalia onions this time of year, very sweet!)
- 1 large red pepper, sliced into thin strips (or any other color you'd like)
- 4 medium-large potatoes, baked (most newer microwaves have a "potato" option that will cook a potato. I like to do this on hotter days, because it doesn't heat up the house like the oven does)

Bake the potatoes and while doing that, steam the sliced zucchini until fork tender. (start the potatoes earlier if you are doing them in the oven) When potatoes and zucchini are almost done, pour grapeseed oil into large saute pan, then throw in pepper strips and onion, and sprinkle on one teaspoon of seasoning salt. Saute onions and pepper, until onions are almost clear, keeping heat on medium, so they do not burn. Then add in zucchini, saute for another 2-3 minutes. Cut potatoes in half the long way, then cut the other way into 1/2 inch slices, so that you have nice "half circle" chunks. Add potatoes in, and sprinkle the other one teaspoon of seasoning salt, then mix well. Serve with some lowfat meat, like chicken or turkey.