Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meatloaf and some other dishes

Have been craving beef, so decided to modify my favorite recipe from my Mom.

Original Recipe:
1.5lbs ground beef
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated potato
1 onion, grated
1 can chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup sour cream
Mix all ingredients and bake at 350F for one hour.

In actuality:
just under 1lb ground beef
grated carrot - about 3 carrots
grated potato - one big one
grated onion
3/4 quick cook oats
salt, pepper, dry mustard powder, garlic, oregano, basil and parsley
Baked at 350F for one hour. YUM!

Saag (Indian spinach - typically also with paneer)
2 tbsp oil or ghee
1 chopped onion
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1 lb Spinach, chopped
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
*1 cup yogurt
*1/4 cup cream (optional)
*Leave these out until you are done cleansing

Heat the oil or ghee in a large pot or saucepan over medium flame. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat, allow to cool a bit. Then use a blender or food processor to puree in batches.
Return the puree to the pot. Add a little water if necessary and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
Stir in yogurt and return to brief simmer and immediately remove from heat. Stir in the optional cream, adjust seasoning and serve.
VARIATION: I also added chick peas to make it a bit more filling. Served over brown rice. And I didn't puree all of the spinach, left some chunky.

Eggplant Bartha - one of my favorite Indian dishes
1 or 2 eggplants - depending on size (5 if using Asian eggplant)
A few tablespoons olive oil and chopped garlic for eggplant marinade
4 T. canola oil
1 C. minced onion (yellow or red)
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
1 C. ripe tomato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1/8 t. cayenne
1/2 t. salt

-Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise, and score shallow cuts across the face of each eggplant with a knife. Brush on marinade. Grill over medium heat until soft, turning once. Eggplant skins will get slightly burnt, and that's fine.
Preheat oven to 450. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, score the face of each half with the knife, and brush or drizzle with a bit of oil. Place eggplant face up on cookie sheet and put in oven. Cook for 40-50 minutes, until eggplant is black and soft. (Smaller eggplants will take less time.)
-Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, using a spoon to pull all the flesh away from the skin. If a few little bits of skin get into the pile, that is fine. Coarsely chop the eggplant.
-Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onions, and saute, stirring frequently, until onions begin to brown.
-Add ginger, stir for one minute, then add tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until slightly reduced.
-Stir in cumin, cayenne, and salt, then add eggplant.
-Reduce heat to medium and cook for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

It's a good thing that I really enjoy Indian food - very flavorful, comforting and ideal for this diet.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 7

Other than being tired by 8pm, which is possible to push through, I am finding this to be relatively easy. No extreme side effects and it's been a pleasure to be in the kitchen and cooking again. Still fighting cravings, to be expected I guess... some thoughts when looking in the cupboards go like this, "Oh yeah - when I can eat again I'll make sure to work THAT into the menu." lol

Went out for breakfast again with a friend yesterday. We went to a lovely diner downtown that I can't wait to show to other people. It's relatively simple food - at least to my mind. The hollandaise sauce was purely butter, egg yolk and lemon - which meets the detox requirements... but I do wonder if it was a cheat. The dish was a corned beef hash with eggs and hollandaise. There was also a pea sprout topping which I suspect had been tossed in either vinegar or lemon juice and sugar. Oh well. It was yummy! ;)

Last night I made a chipotle chicken in the over and a nectarine salsa. Yum! Now, if I'd made the salsa the day before - shazaam!!
- chicken breasts
- a chipotle seasoning that I found that meets the reqs
Let the chicken sit with the spice as a rub for 3-4 hours in the fridge. Then pop into over with a lightly oiled pan for about 30-40 mins at 350F.
- 2 nectarines
- juice of one lime
- about 1/4 cup ea onion, green and red pepper
- half of a jalapeno
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- salt & pepper to taste

Today I will finish the last of the old pkg that I had of the cleanse. Tomorrow will be the start of the new 12-day supply. I will finish just in time for a friend's baby shower! However... to test if I really have any food allergies I suppose I should behave myself for a couple of days afterward. : (

This afternoon I've made the curried apple snacks and am going to do the black bean and corn loaf. Will also prep the ingredients for the leek, eggplant and potato casserole. Looking forward to both - good & hearty!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 4

Well I guess the detox has hit me today - I am unfocussed, unmotivated and craving everything I can't eat!!! Salty snacks, sweet stuff, warm & yeasty breads... ugh! Have class tonight so have all three meals already here today - multi-grain cereal, rice cakes and guacamole and cucumbers, kale beet & corn salad, and left-over fried rice for supper. Will have to make an effort and exciting and interesting food tomorrow.

Today's variations: the cereal with original Rice Dream, vanilla and nutmeg. Actually quite good - just not satisfying those other tastes. (I am exactly where I need to be)

Put some of the Rice Dream into the Bengal Spice Tea - reasonable facimile of chai latte! : )

Fried rice without oyster sauce or soy sauce... just isn't fried rice. : (

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Days 2 & 3

Yesterday was my team breakfast at work. I packed some of my multi-grain cereal just in case, but was prepared to make it work at the restaurant. And it did work! I had two eggs over-medium, with sliced tomatoes and fried potatoes.

Lunch followed as rice cakes with guacamole and cucumber and left-over kale, beet & corn salad. Actually, the salad followed about two hours later as the rice cakes filled me for the time.

After work I came home to put together a fish curry. Working vaguely from taste memories of a lovely fish madras(?) from a local Indian restaurant, I searched the web for a base to start from. I found this:

1 onion, finaely sliced
olive oil for frying
2tbsp curry paste (Madras is good for this)
2x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
450g white fish fillet, cut into chunks
a small handful of coriander leaves

And this is what I made:
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
olive oil for frying
1tbsp tikka spice blend (as this didn't have offending ingedients)
sprinkle of tumeric
coupla sprinkles of garam masala
fresh lime rind
kaffir lime leaf
one cube of frozen chooped coriander
2 cups chooped tomatoes
cod fillet
lime juice to finish


Today was the cereal that I brought to work yesterday with some cardomom, all-spice and almond butter. Sounds a little strange - but, oh, so satisfying!

Lunch was rice cakes with hummous, cuke and carrot. That filled me up! Had planned on having some berries for an afternoon snack, but it was a busy one and I didn't notice the hunger until the end of the day. Did a bit of shopping on the way home and picked up some tuna for Friday (will marinate that, have with brown rice and soy beans). Chicken for BBQ chipotle chicken and nectarine salsa (peaches had disappeared!) on Saturday, and leeks and potatoes for Sunday - Leek, Potato and Eggplant casserole.

Planning 3 days out is kinda breaking the shop and cook daily rule a little... but, it's still fresh! And I'm keeping the recipes pared down so that I don't have too many leftover (which I hate!). Am enjoying cooking each night, but am finding the clean-up a little difficult as I'm finding that I've run out of energy by the time I eat. Otherwise, I can't complain - am not feeling sluggish and am sleeping VERY well. Noticed myself really attracted by smells and sights and thoughts of food today. But a lot of that was just being hungry. Am finding myself satisfied so far. ; )

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recipe Ideas

I have a slow cooker cookbook that looks like it might have some potential recipes. They'll require some modification... and some time in the kitchen this weekend by me - whipping up a v.large pot of veggie stock. Or I could roast a chicken and then make chicken stock... hmmm...

The book: The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson
Moors and Christians (cuban dish of rice and black beans topped w/fried egg)
Succulent Succotash (w/variation of sauteed halibut)
Potato & Cauliflower Dal w/Spicy Shallots
Cumin Beets
*Baker's Potatoes
Turnip & Carrot Puree w/Cumin
Leeks a la Greque
Peppery Onions
(made the potatoes before - yum!)

Mom used to make a meatloaf that would also lend itself well to this - taking out the breadcrumbs. Using egg to bind, and getting creative with seasonings it basically is ground beef with grated potato, carrot and onion.

Another resource that may be worth checking out, if I remember correctly, is the Moosewood cookbooks.

Yummy Day 1

Day 1! I sort of started yesterday, Sunday, and that didn't work so well as there was still some food left to eat in the fridge and although I got a bunch of shopping done, I hadn't prepped anything. So last night I roasted up a couple of beets in preparation for tonight's Kale, Beet & Corn Salad. And then I whipped up some guacamole and hummus.

Today's Menu:

Breakfast: Multi-grain cereal w/ berries & Pear White Tea (so much better than flavored green teas!!)
Snack: almonds
Lunch: multi-grain(rice) cakes with tahini & cucumber and potato leek soup
Snack: Bengal Spice Tea (herbal and sooo warm and comforting!!) and almonds
Dinner: Fish Almandine and Kale, Beet & Corn Salad - from the cookbook

I decided to make my own multi-grain cereal. Yesterday I had purchased a bunch of bulk grains, following the order of recommendation in the cookbook. Buckwheat, millet, oats, barley, and flax. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but the cereal definitely needs to be pre-cooked. LOL! It does not do well in the microwave. Tonight I'll throw a whole pot on which will make the mornings a little easier. ; )

The cakes w/tahini & cucumber was really good! Definitely have that for lunch again. The soup was a packaged one that I found that met all the requirements.

Dinner! mmmmmmm Going to make this ongoing I think. I used a Basa fillet for the Fish Alamandine and it was sooooo good. Had the pan good and hot so the fillet was seared well. I wasn't sure about the kale... it has such a stiff texture before going in the pot to steam. Boy oh boy, with the roasted beets and the simple lemon & oil dressing, this was a wonderful salad! Left-overs for lunch. ; )

Adding to the idea of prepping, I cooked up a BIG pot of brown rice tonight too. That will be helpful for all meals. Maybe while I'm on a roll I'll get a curry started for tomorrow....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Curried Crisp Apple Slices

Simple recipe, but it does take some time to make. Put it in the oven and get busy with some chores around the house.

2 tbsp each lemon juice and water
2 tsp mild curry paste
8 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced thinly

Preheat oven to 200F. Mix juice, water and spice together and brush apples with mixture. Spread out in one layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2-3 hours until apples are crisp and light brown in color.