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Gadget Envy April 14, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food, Running.
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Dear Santa: I want a Vitamix, a mandolin,a cold press juicer, an ice cream maker, a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, a rice cooker, a stick blender, and a puppy.

Here’s what I would concoct if I had these things:

Vitamix

Vitamixes are for smoothies. I would make an orange-less orange smoothie with golden beet, carrot, ginger, mango, and a dash of turmeric for color. The green smoothie: spinach and/or kale, honeydew, zucchini, mint, fava greens (when they are in season). Purple smoothie: beets, red grapes, strawberries, blueberries and purple cauliflower. I also hear that Vitamixes make great soups. I think a spicy cauliflower, sunchoke and celery root soup, using a home-made beef gelatin broth, would be awesome.

Mandolin

Chips! Beet chips, sunchoke chips, squash chips. Chips chips chips. And I would bake them. They would be chippy. A chip off the ol’…chip.

Cold Press Juicer

I would juice fruits and vegetables. Duh. Favorite combination: carrot, apple, ginger.

Ice Cream Maker

Sorbet. See aforementioned juices.

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Meringue. Marshmallow. Sausage. Not at the same time. Allow me to explain:

I love meringues and marshmallows. They are the bomb, dairy-free, gluten-free, headache safe, an excellent source of sugar and a rockin’ vehicle for any flavor you choose. It takes a long time to beat the egg whites into submission, however, so I don’t make these very often because I’m lazy and impatient.

Also, I hear these Kitchen Aid things have attachments for making sausage. Sausage is one of the best foods on the planet, but it’s hard to find a sausage that I know for absolutely sure is safe for me to eat. And I’m pretty sure you can make sausage out of anything (maybe even meringues and marshmallows).

I think the Kitchen Aid also has an attachment for making ice cream, but why have one device when I could have two? And what if I want to make sausage and ice cream at the same time?

Rice Cooker

Not sure. The rice button on my microwave works pretty well. I’ve just always felt deprived because everyone else has one. Gotta keep up with the Joneses, bitches.

Stick Blender

Again, soups. There are some soups that have to start out on the stove, and then get blended. If I can avoid transferring a hot soup into another receptacle, I’m fine with that. Also, sauces. Purees. Oh, yeah. I would use a stick blender every day.

A Puppy

I really want a dog to go running with. I want to run outside more, but I”m paranoid about my safety. I don’t like running outside when I’m alone. I’m also slow (and proud of it) so I don’t want to slow down a human companion. But I figure any human would be slowing down any dog (except maybe a pomeranian – even I could outrun a pomeranian), so I’d better get a doberman.

This Soup Stinks Good January 19, 2013

Posted by starshipexercise in MIgraine, Recipes and Food, Uncategorized.
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I love fish sauce. It has this awesome funk to it that is so funky…it’s actually fonnnnn-kaaaay. Anyhoo, I like fish sauce a lot, but it’s a migraine trigger on oh-so-many delicious levels. It’s fermented. It may contain gluten (some do). It’s tasty. Ok, ok, flavor isn’t necessarily a migraine trigger. I’m just feeling sorry for myself.

Not all triggers are created equal. I can tolerate some foods in small quantities, like bananas and citrus. Too much, though, and wham! Headache. There are some foods, though, that I can’t eat any of and fish sauce is one of them. Or, maybe there is a safe amount, I just love it too much to restrict the amount I consume. Whatever, the result is a headache, so why split rabbits?

I do pretty well, food-wise, and although my long no-no list inspires sympathy every where I go, I generally don’t feel deprived. There are so many great foods I can eat, I see the restrictions more as a logistical challenge to be solved.

There are a few things, though, that I miss terribly. One of them is pho, which is rife with fish sauce. I even used to make my own pho (it’s EASY, by the way). I love it enough that when I first went on the elimination diet, I tried making fish sauce-less pho.

WRONG.

Pho really needs that stinky/sour/salty taste, otherwise it’s just soup.

Well, I’m tired of doing without. It’s taken about five years of hard thinking (or maybe I just needed five years to forget what real pho tastes like), but I finally came up with an acceptable alternative. While I was at it, I decided to skinny up the recipe by replacing the traditional rice noodles with shirataki noodles.

Disclaimer: don’t expect this to taste just like pho. You’ll be disappointed. It is delicious, but it’s a pho-alternative, not a pho-replacement. Also, I’m missing some garnishes: bean sprouts, fresh jalapeno and basil would all be traditional, and delicious. But I don’t have any of those today. And the right sauces would be sriracha (rooster), hoisin, and fish sauce, which I have but I can’t eat, so they’re not listed in the ingredients. But by all means, if you have the access and inclination, dress up your soup with all sorts of accessories.

Quick Faux Pho

Servings: 4

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
3 dried star anise
3 large cloves garlic, halved
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup unfiltered sake (do not use sweet cooking sake, you want the strongest, sourest sake you can find)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb total)
2 14 oz packages of Shirataki noodles (I use the yam variety, but the tofu ones are easier to find and are therefore more convenient if you can have soy)
lots of salt, to taste
1 cup shredded carrot (for garnish)
fresh cilantro (for garnish)

Preheat broiler. Toast ginger, cinnamon, anise, and garlic under broiler for one or two minutes, or longer if needed. Check frequently. Anise in particularly can go from zero to crispy very quickly.

Bring stock up to a simmer. Place ginger, cinnamon, and anise in a large coffee filter (contents should be loose), and tie off with one end of a long piece of kitchen twine. Tie the other end of the twine to one of the handles on your pot. Drop the garlic straight into the soup. Bring back up to a simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the chicken breasts, sake, and lemon juice, and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Add salt and taste it to make sure it’s salty enough.

Meanwhile, break open those shirataki noodles. Drain them in a colander, rinse them well, and dry em off as best you can. You may need to cut them, sometimes shirataki noodles are really just one long noodle wound around itself a million times (sort of like every necklace in my jewelry box). Divide the noodles equally between four bowls.

Salt the soup, and when it tastes right, remove the chicken breast and garlic. Chop and divide between four bowls. Garnish with carrot and cilantro. Ladle the broth into each bowl, enough to cover the contents.

Stinks pretty good, even if I do say so myself.

Calories 338.4
Total Fat 6.1 g
Cholesterol 80.2 mg
Sodium 1,200 mg
Total Carbohydrate 16.7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Protein 33.9 g

Weight Watcher’s PPV: 6

All You Bitches are Gonna Eat Squash December 6, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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Consider yourself warned. Squash must be  in season, because my CSA box is full of it. So am I.

Uh. Maze. Ing Sausage and Squash Soup

Servings: 5

1 mild Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
1 lb baby bok choy, raw and cut into bite-size pieces
.5 butternut squash, roasted and cut into bite-size pieces
.5 delicata squash, roasted and cut into bite-size pieces
3 medium carrots, roasted and mashed
1 cup home-made chicken stock, skimmed of every speck of fat
5 – 6 cups water

Roast your vegetables on baking sheets in a 375 – 425 oven (depending on how much of a hurry you’re in). When the squash is soft to the touch, but not yet mush, pull it out and let cool. In a dutch oven or soup pot, brown crumbled up chicken sausage. Add chopped bok choy and cook down a bit.  Add roasted veggies. Add stock and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook at a low simmer long enough for the squash to start breaking down and for the flavors to come together. This isn’t rocket science, you figure it out. I did.

If you want a spicier soup, use hot Italian sausage and/or add some red pepper flake.

Sneaky Squash and Potato Muffin Thingeys

Servings: 12

2 small-medium russet potatoes
.5 acorn squash
2 egg whites
granulated garlic, paprika, salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin with generous amounts of non-stick cooking spray. I’m serious here, go to town.

Using your super-handy-dandy food preparation device on shred mode, shred up the potato and acorn squash. You should wind up with about 3 – 4 cups total. Mix in egg whites and seasonings. Divide the mixture into the muffin tin, and spray the tops. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

The squash flavor in this is very subtle. The only tell-tale sign is that they’re a bit sweeter than if they were made with all potato. They should be soft on the inside, with a brown crust on the outside.

Barney’s Pupik in the Pot September 16, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in Recipes and Food.
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Soup is a wonderful thing. It’s figure friendly, and convenient if treated right. I like to make a pot of soup on Sundays, portion out the soup in individual containers, and freeze them. I can then grab one each morning to bring for lunch. For a long time, my go-to soup was escarole with white kidney (canellini) beans and potato. Deeeelicious. Variety is the spice of life, however, and just as I’ve accepted the fact that my hair will never look the same two days in a row, so will two batches of soup never be identical. I still make a soup on many Sundays, but they are never the same twice.

Sometimes, I start with just a water and vegetable base. Sometimes, I have a chicken or turkey carcass in the freezer I can use as a base. You never can tell with me. I’m a crazy soup lady.

This week, I had some elderly vegetables left over from last week’s CSA box, so I decided to clean out the fridge. I found some slightly wrinkly Anaheim peppers, purple cabbage, red and gold potatoes, zucchinis, and two very geriatric ears of corn. I also scrounged a chicken back and wings from the freezer (when I see those free-range, organic whole chickens in the manager’s special section, I’ll buy em, butcher em up myself, freeze the pupik and the wings to use later, and roast the rest).

I almost didn’t include the cabbage, because I knew it would turn the soup purple and I thought that might be a bit off-putting. But then I thought “antioxidants” and put it in anyway. Yeah boy howdy, that sure is purple soup. It’s not lavender, people, it’s purple. It’s Barney the Dinosaur purple. It should come with a warning label recommending “dress entirely in black for consumption of this soup.”

Purple Pupik Soup

Servings: 8

Chicken back and wings
Small head of purple cabbage
Two ears of corn
1 lb red and/or gold potatoes
3 zucchinis
3 -4 Anaheim chilis
A few garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the chicken in a pot (I threw it in still frozen) and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce and simmer for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 375. Cut cabbage into quarters, peel zucchini and cut in half length-wise, cut chilis length-wise and remove seeds, clean and quarter potatoes, remove husk and silk from corn, and peel garlic. Lay out everything on a couple of baking sheets prepared with non-stick spray, and roast for 45 minutes, flipping over once partway through.

Cut up roasted veggies into bite size pieces. Cut corn off of cob. Dump it all in the soup. Pick any chicken meat off the bones and throw the meat back in. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The longer you continue to simmer after putting the veggies in, the more purple it will be. If you ever wished a bad end for Barney the Dinosaur, this soup is the stuff of daydreams.

Calories 220.6
Total Fat 4.3 g
Fat 1.1 g
Carbohydrate 31.7 g
Fiber 3.9 g
Protein 14.8 g

Namastizzle, fo’ shizzle. September 12, 2012

Posted by starshipexercise in General Exercise, Recipes and Food.
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This week, someone suggested that I legally change my name to Tupac. No first or last name, just Tupac.

For the life of me, I can’t imagine why. Well, maybe I need to clean it up a little, so I purposely didn’t use any naughty words in the title of this post. (Fact: I get way more hits on posts with the b-word in the title. It’s not my fault you crazy bitches like doo-doo talk.)

Anyway, I’m not changing my name, but I did try two other new things this week. On Sunday, I made congee for the first time. It was awesome. Tonight, I tried hot yoga for the first time. It was nauseating.

First, the yoga. FYI, bitches, hot yoga is hot. I did a good job taking breaks and then getting back in it, but toward the end I had to accept the fact that I was just done. I spent the last 10 minutes flat on my back, trying not to drown through my pores. Note to self: next time, do not choose a hot yoga studio right next to the oh-so-tempting Baskin Robbins. I’m happy to say that I did not replace all the calories I had just burned with ice cream, but it was close.

Honestly, I can’t say I saw any benefit from being in an incredibly hot room while doing yoga. Also, it felt awful. I’m totally going back on Friday.

And now…congee.  Made with beef soup bones (optional). Rice. Water. Ginger.

Step 1: Mix 1 cup white rice and1 tsp oil, allow to soak for at least 30 minutes
Step 2: Throw rice, ~9 cups water, optional meaty bones for flavor (I roasted mine first to cook off some of the fat), 5 slices fresh ginger, salt, pepper in a pot.
Step 3: Cook on a low simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning on the bottom (should be a soupy, porridgey consistency)

If using an optional meaty soup bone, pull off meat and chop up, dump back in soup. Serve garnished with chopped green onions, dribbles of sesame oil, soy sauce. I’m told by a very reliable source that this is one of the very few occasions where it’s acceptable to serve soy sauce at the table as a condiment.

VERY IMPORTANT: rinse pot immediately. Apparently, I came perilously close to death when my husband had to wash out a dirty pot coated in congee-flavored cement. Oops.

Must go to bed. Hot yoga has sapped ability to complete sentences. Namaste, bitches.

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