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Gefrishte Oatmeal March 31, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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Cooking for Passover is hard. No bread, no grains. Thank god for the Internet. It is chock full of ideas for creative uses of matzo. Today I found a total winner of a recipe for a No-Bake Matzo Chocolate Cake that makes the two biggest banes of Jewish cuisine palatable: matzo and kiddush wine.

Sometimes, the oldies really are the goodies, though. One of my all-time favorite preparations of matzo is fried matzo, aka matzo brei, aka gefrishte matzo.

To make fried matzo, you soak the matzo in hot water, break it up, mix it up with egg and fry it. It’s so simple, but so good. I used to eat it all year round (sometimes for dinner), not just on Passover. Then of course I gave up wheat and no more gefrishte matzo for me!

Poor petite moi, now I’m jonesing to fry something in egg. Oh, sure, you can order gluten-free matzo off the internet, and if you’re lucky you might find a local store that carries it. I happen to be entirely too impatient and lazy for that. Plus, have you ever read the ingredients and nutritional info for gluten-free products? Just because it doesn’t have gluten does NOT mean it’s good for you.

The Internet tells me that gluten free matzo is often made from oats so I figured I could just skip the middlemen (that would be the Rabbis and all those other people who know what they’re doing) and decided that my gluten-free oats would do.

Gefrishte Oatmeal

Servings: 1

1 egg plus 1 egg white
1/3 cup uncooked, gluten free oats
dash cinnamon
pinch kosher salt
drop vanilla extract
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 tbsp maple syrup

Beat egg and egg white thoroughly (this will help you resolve any lingering negativity from that rotten week you had). Stir in oats, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Let oat and egg mixture sit for 5 – 10 minutes, or as long as you can stand before going psycho waiting to fry up your breakfast. While popping sprogs because you are impatient, lazy, and hate to wait for anything, heat up your pan with a spritz of cooking spray, wash and slice your strawberries. It’s good to stay busy.

Finally, after waiting about a century, pour half of your oat/egg mix into the hot pan. I like to spread it around and get a thin pancake. Cook til it’s solid around the edges, and just getting brown on the bottom and flip. You’ll know when it’s done on the other side, you’re no dummy. I mean, you’ve cooked eggs before, right?

I ended up eating my first pancake by rolling up the strawberries in it like a soft taco and eating it with my hands. Rude, yes, but no one was watching. I had a teeny bit more self control for the second one, and sprinkled the strawberries on top of the pancake and drizzled maple syrup on top. I ate that one with a fork. Both the syrup and the fork were totally not necessary, by the way. I preferred it as a taco.

Calories 287.6
Total Fat 7.5 g
Cholesterol 186.0 mg
Sodium 360.9 mg
Potassium 364.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 42.8 g
Dietary Fiber 6.3 g
Protein 14.1 g



Eat Like a Canadian January 26, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food.
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When I went to Victoria, BC with my dragon boat team over the summer for the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, I bought a bag of oatmeal for the hotel suite. I am an obsessive label-reader from way back, so of course I noticed that the recommended serving size was 1/3 cup uncooked oats.

Wait, what?

It was a popular brand of oats, the same brand I buy at home, and I’ve been using 1/2 cup for my serving size all this time. Did the American oats call for a bigger portion size, or had I been eating too much oatmeal due to user error?

When I got home, I rushed to the kitchen to check, and sure enough, my US-purchased oats recommended 1/2 cup portion size. I did some quick guesstimation (I don’t really do math) and concluded that the actual nutritional info for the US oats and the Canada oats are similar. Canadians just have a smaller portion size. Why? WHY, bitches?

This has been troubling me for months. We already have major issues with portion distortion, why are we, in the US, encouraged to start with a larger portion size to begin with?(Click here for some handy ways to judge portion size visually.)

And what’s the result? Are Canadians skinnier than Americans?

Why yes, yes they are. Obesity is an epidemic across the developed world, and Canada is no exception. However, current statistics (as of Q4 2012) show that while the US tops the list of obesity rates in first-world countries, Canada is at #6.

I decided to run an experiment. For one week, I ate a slightly smaller portion of oatmeal every morning. Instead of measuring out 1/2 cup, I only took 1/3 cup. You will never believe what happened: absolutely nothing. Not only did I not starve to a slow, horrendous death, I didn’t even feel more hungry than usual.

I started my oatmeal experiment about two weeks before the holidays. Coincidentally, we had a huge yoga class that morning. We did a very basic sun salutation series set to some very lovely (but generic) background music. Going into savasana, we reflected on the crowded room, the quieter than normal music, the less complex vinyasa flow; yet we could still claim our space on our mats and feel the sweat on our skin.  Our teacher’s exact words were “Notice how little you actually need.” That’s good advice, especially when we’re surrounded by spectacle and excess.

I have also recently discovered PB2. If you’ve never had it, look it up. You used to only be able to get it online, but I’ve been seeing it in stores lately. It’s powdered peanut butter, and they’ve removed a ton of the fat and calories as part of the process, but you still get a nice hit of protein. There’s a chocolate flavor, but it’s not super chocolately or super peanut buttery. I didn’t love the chocolate. My advice is to stick with the regular PB2. And of course, if peanuts are a migraine trigger for you, skip it entirely. I find I can have it once or twice a week, especially if I stick to a half portion (and avoiding any other potential triggers, and assuming the weather holds, it’s not that time of the month, I’ve gotten plenty of sleep and fluids, and well, you know the drill), without any repercussions.

PB2 Cherry Oatmeal

Servings: 1

1/3 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1 tbsp PB2 powder (that’s 1/2 serving)
1/3 cup frozen dark, pitted, unsweetened cherries
dash of cinnamon
pinch of kosher salt
1 cap full of vanilla extract (optional)
2/3 cup water, plus more if needed

Combine ingredients in large bowl. Nuke for three minutes. Stir, add more water if needed. Enjoy.

I’m Full of Beans! July 21, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food, Running.
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We have a saying in our house. When one of the cats goes bat-doo-doo crazy, we say “he’s full of beans.” If you’re a cat person, you know the manic behavior I’m talking about. Running sideways down the hall. Attacking everything in sight.

This morning, sometime after “oh my GOD WHAT TIME IS IT?” o’clock, Loomis Simmons tried to kill our feet. Never mind they were under the covers, and not even moving, he was gonna get ’em. Later, the beans continued in the front yard while he hassled me as I was trying to leave for dragon boat practice (he wanted to come, too!) and then again in the kitchen as I unpacked the groceries and he repeatedly jumped up on the counter RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME as if we do that all the time in our house. I finally threw a paper bag in the dining room with instructions to “KILL IT” and that got him off my case.

He was full of beans.

Now, when I say I’m full of beans, I don’t mean I’m on the manic side of a bi-polar mood swing, like Loomis Simmons. I don’t even mean I’m full of just any old beans. Actually, I’m full of lentils.

See, all legumes are potential migraine triggers. It’s a shame, too, because I love beans. I recently tried some canned cannelini beans to see if I could tolerate them, but no dice. Then at work this week, one of my coworkers mentioned that she also gets migraines, and that beans are a trigger, but she has found that if she starts with dried beans, just cooks a single portion at a time, and never uses canned beans, she’s fine.

Well, I just hopped my little tushy over to the bulk food aisle and got me some red lentils. I even found a recipe online for cooking them in the microwave (because I want my lentils RIGHT NOW) although they seem to come out dry so I’m still messing with the amount of water to use. Still, it’s pretty awesome. Lunch on Friday was .5 cup of lentils with cinnamon and turmeric (made from .25 cup dried lentils), a red new potato, and about a cup of sauteed beet greens. Mmmm. Jewish hippie shit, as my dear husband would say. Whatever. I know what’s good.

So, that was the first good thing that happened this week. I had lentils a couple of times, no headache. I’m gonna try black beans next, because they are almost as awesome as lentils.

The second good thing was I did three miles on Thursday and discovered my new favorite running song, We Will Rock You by Queen. Damn right, we will.

The third good thing was I found a recipe online for baked oatmeal squares. The original recipe is little more high-calorie than I would like, and there are a couple of potential migraine triggers, but I made a some modifications. Instead of milk, I used water. Rather than add .5 cup of sugar, I just sprinkled a packed tablespoon of brown sugar over the top before putting it in the oven. Instead of 1 cup of dried fruit, I added 2 cups of fresh.  And, I cut down the portion size.

I tried a piece this afternoon as a snack, and I have to declare this recipe delightful. It is so delightful, in fact, that I was forced to immediately stash the remaining servings in the freezer and run screaming from the house til they froze solid so I wouldn’t just keep eating til it was all gone.

I can live with being full of beans, but not 9 servings of baked oatmeal.  I think I might pop.

So, have freezer bags ready, or make this at your own risk.  You’ve been warned.

Really Effing Good Baked Oatmeal

Servings: 9

3 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp ground cinnamon
.5 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites
1 cup water
.25 tsp salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tsp brown sugar, packed

Mix up dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another. Add dry ingredients to wet, and then fold in berries. Sprinkle brown sugar on top, and spread into a 9×9 baking pan, liberally coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. The blueberries will explode with delight, and the brown sugar will make a subtly sweet crust.

Enjoy, but not all at once. 🙂

Calories 139.4
Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 201.8 mg
Carbohydrates 43.0 g
Dietary Fiber 6.6 g
Protein 5.4 g

My Morning Scramble…of Rage! May 15, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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Usually, I have oatmeal for breakfast.  Soooooo boring, but I’m a creature of habit.  When I roll out of bed on a work day, I have a very well orchestrated-routine that I can execute in the dark. Literally. I typically don’t even open my eyes until just before I leave the house.

On the days I don’t have to get to work, and I can throw my routine out the window, I like to do something different for breakfast. I took today off to go see a matinee of The Avengers (wouldn’t you?), so I took advantage of those two weeks, one hour and three minutes of hell I spent planting my herb garden and made myself a delightful breakfast scramble. Part of the delight came from killing…I mean, destroying… I mean, harvesting my own herbs.

It should be noted, over the years my husband has learned to discourage me from gardening or yard work of any sort.  Apparently, not only am I bad at it, but it makes me an angry person. Whatever. For some mysterious reason, he was quite encouraging this time around, and even helped me get together the materials I needed.  So, I’m trying not to take my berserker-garden-rage out on my sweetie, who I totally love and appreciate for knowing when to support me, and when to slowly back away.

HULK, GARDEN!  Heh. Did I mention I’m going to see The Avengers today? Anyhoo, here’s my recipe for…

Quick, Before the Cilantro Bolts Breakfast Scramble

Servings: 1

1 spray non-stick cooking spray
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2.5 oz baby kale (half of a 5 oz package)
.3 cup frozen corn kernels
Handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used cilantro, tarragon, dill)
1 large egg plus one egg white, scrambled
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a deep sautee pan with cooking spray and place on burner turned to medium.  When pan is hot, throw in garlic and kale and sautee until kale is cooked down (I used baby kale, so I didn’t bother chopping and it cooked down in about 5 minutes).  Toss in corn kernals and cook for another minute. Stir in fresh herbs, beaten eggs, and salt and pepper to taste and scramble in the pan.

Calories: 173.6
Total Fat: 5.8 g
Cholesterol: 185.0 mg
Sodium: 128.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.1 g
Protein: 13.9 g

Red pepper flakes and/or fresh bell pepper would be a great addition. You could also add onion and cheese, if you eat that sort of thing.  If you’re not a fan of the corn, leftover brown rice or any other whole grain would be great too (I just didn’t have any made in the fridge or that would have been my first choice).  And if you’re really hungry, or just bigger than me (not hard to do, I’m only 5 ft tall), you could double the corn (or other grain), bulk it up with some more veggies, add another egg white or beans for protein, and still have a really reasonable breakfast.  Happily, the above version is migraine free, gluten free, and dairy free, although you gotta watch those cooking sprays because most of them contain soy.  Enjoy!

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