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If It’s Orange, I’ll Eat It. February 21, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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Unless, of course, it’s an orange. Citrus of all kinds is a potential migraine trigger. But that still leaves a lot of orange ground to cover. I have more to say on the subject of orange food than you might think possible (particularly carrots) but if you make it to the end of this post I promise there’s a really delicious soup recipe that involves chicken balls.

Because heaven forfend I should run out of orange food.

Because heaven forfend I should run out of orange food.

My favorite (migraine-free) orange foods:

  • Carrots
  • Garnet or Jewel Yams (I think these are technically varieties of sweet potato, but whatevs, they’re tasty)
  • Golden beets
  • Persimmons
  • Mangoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Hubbard Squash
  • Kabocha Squash
  • Delicata Squash
  • Butternut Squash

I am specific regarding my winter squash preferences, because IMHO, certain other squashes can take a flying leap, including pumpkin. I once tried a pumpkin oatmeal recipe. Grossest. Thing. Ever. And don’t even get me started on Acorn squash. (I do like spaghetti squash, but technically it’s yellow and so not listed here for the purposes of this post).

But let’s take on a happier topic than pumpkin (shudder). Let’s talk about carrots. The myth around carrots is that they’re good for your eyes. It’s true, but there’s more to them than that. Carrots are high in both alpha- and beta-carotenes, which transforms into Vitamin A in the body. They also have a lot of fiber and phytonutrients, a goodly amount of potassium and a bit of calcium and magnesium. These are all good things.

Oh, but now we need to address the elephant in the room: baby carrots. Or to be more specific, “baby-cut” carrots. These nasty little nuggets are big carrots that are cut down and shaped to look like baby carrots. True baby carrots are actually just tiny carrots. Baby-cut carrots are an abomination. Don’t eat them.

I used to buy bags of so-called baby carrots because I felt like I should, but they were so sour and awful that they would rot, uneaten and forgotten, in the fridge. Just thinking about baby carrots makes me wish I could throw up every one I’ve ever forced myself to eat. Oh, unless they’re used as a vehicle for hummus. Then they’re ok.

Listen here: go to the store, buy a bag of regular, full-sized, organic carrots. Wash, peel and eat. Have a nice day.

This week, I had an abundance of orange food that I need to use up. I also had an eggplant and some kale in my fridge that needed a new home. As usual, it all went into the soup, but this time I roasted the vegetables first.

Chicken Ball and Roasted Veggie Soup

Servings: 9

13.3 oz ground chicken breast
1 tbsp oat bran
1 egg white
1/4 tsp fennel and salt
1 medium eggplant, peel on, cubed
1 large garnet yam or sweet potato, cubed
2 cups cubed winter squash
3/4 lb carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
5 oz uncooked baby kale
cooking spray
10 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cover two baking sheets with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Lay vegetables (except kale) on sheets in single layer and roast for 40 – 50 minutes.

Mix ground chicken, oat bran, egg white, and fennel & salt together. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to firm up the mixture.

Heat up dutch oven over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Form chicken mixture into small balls just a bit larger than the tip of your thumb. Brown the chicken balls on all sides.

Add stock and roasted vegetables. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

I got 9 generous 1.5 cup servings out of this, but I could see getting anywhere from 8 to 10 servings, depending on how much liquid cooks off and if you have big veggies.

You may have noticed that this recipe is extremely, how do you say…lightly seasoned. I’m good with that, because I enjoy the flavor of vegetables and the chicken balls did not get overly assertive, but others might enjoy more seasoning.

It should also be noted that I used home-made chicken stock, which included some pan drippings (fat removed) from roasted chicken. As a result, there was lots of garlic, paprika, bay leaf and gelatin involved in the construction of that stock. So, a touch of fennel and salt was really all I needed. BTW, in case you’re not familiar with it, this is fennel and salt.

One final note: I added the egg white and oat bran to the chicken balls with the theory that they would help hold them together, but I have no evidence that these ingredients are in any way necessary. Feel free to experiment.

I don’t have nutritional info on this one, but the Weight Watcher’s Points Plus Value per serving is 4.

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