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Tips and Ideas for Summer Meals

June 25th, 2016

I like to cook during the summer.  But with the heat outside, I do not want to heat up the house.  My solutions was toaster ovens or small ovens on the enclosed outside porch.  I am now able to cook in smaller size pans morning or night.

Entrées -

The other day, I made cornbread(see Winter recipe section) in the morning and oven fried fish for dinner.  For the oven-fried fish, I changed my book recipe a little.  I used bread crumbs seasoned with Italian seasoning, grated Parmesan cheese, and a dash of red pepper flakes in the crumb mixture.  Then I drenched the skinned snapper into olive oil, following by drenching the fish into the crumb mixture.  I then placed the fish into a small preheated oven of 425 for the 4-6 minutes on each side.  The result was fish tasty and crispy.

note:  Small oven and toasters tend to cook faster than large oven.  Keep an eye on your meals until you are sure of the timing of these ovens.

Salads-

With the high heat this month, I been making a great many dinner salads.  I love curry chicken salad.  Usually with curry you need some sweetness in the salad.  I was out of raisins, and dried apricots.  But, I did happen to have on hand some cherries.  So I decided to chop up the cherries and add them to the salad.  The cherries gave the salad a really nice taste.  Who knew?  Other salads to consider are smoked turkey, grape and basil salad; cobb salad; macaroni salad; pesto shrimp salad; and others with meat or fish.  One note about gluten-free pastas, do not undercook rice pastas.  Also, cook only the amount of pasta you will likely eat.  Rice pasta has the tendency to flatten and get a little tough when it sits overnight.  Another trick you might like to try in macaroni salad is to use some cooked yolks (from hard boiled eggs) mashed with a combination of mustards mixed with mayonnaise.  The combination of these ingredients make a very tasty macaroni salad.

Vegetables-

Don’t forget to marinate vegetables this summer for grilled meals.  Vegetables are a perfect side dish for summer meals.  You will find the recipe for this in my ”Summer Recipes” section.

Have a good summer with delicious gluten-free meals.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Seniors

May 18th, 2016

The Baby Boomers are now in their late sixties and early seventies.  This group, which I am a member of, does not want to age like the generations before them.  We want to be active and involved until our last days.  One way of ensuring that is consuming fish.  Fish is brain food.  It has high doses of  Omega-3 fatty acids.  Fatty acids keep out brains healthy.  These fatty acids help to prevent memory loss and stop reduced cognitive abilities.  A recent study out of the Netherlands found individuals that consumed fish at least once a week slowed down cognitive decline.  Omega-3 fatty acids seem to prevent dementia.  So plan to have tuna salad or sandwiches at least once a week.  Additionally, have white fish and crustaceans (shrimp, crab, or lobster*) often.

Note: Stay away from Tilapia.  The farming method used on this fish produces high doses of bacteria and/or parasites.

* Do not consume crustaceans if you are allergic to them or other fish.

The following recipe is my husband’s favorite fish recipe.  It is found on page 81 of my book.

MEXICAN FISH CASSEROLE

1 1/2 pounds firm white fish (cod, grouper,snapper)

1 cup sorghum flour (for dredging)

Salt and Pepper

2 tablespoon to 1/4 cup margarine

8 ounces jar red salsa

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

6 ounces jack cheese, shredded

1/4 cup parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and prepare fish.  Cut fish into 3 to 4 inch pieces.  Coat fish with flour, salt, and pepper.  In 12 inch skillet, melt margarine.  Saute fish on both sides until brown.  Place fish pieces into baking pan that is greased.   Top each piece of  fish with: 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 tablespoon cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon jack cheese.  Place baking pan into oven and bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Serves 6

When a Mistake Results with a Better Product

April 15th, 2016

Recently I was up early to make my Herb Ciabatta Buns.  I was without my coffee and was doing the recipe by heart.  While I was putting the ingredients together I noticed I did not need as much water with my bread.  After the bread was in the oven and I had my first cup of coffee I realized that I forgot to put in the tapioca flour into the mixture.  The bread came out fantastic!  It tasted much better, raised higher and was lighter.  So here is my new and improved ingredients for My Herb Ciabatta Buns:

1 1/2 cups Terry’s Flour Blend

1 cup any gluten free baking mix

1/4 to 1/2 cup gluten free multi- purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 packages instant/rapid rise yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons organic Maple syrup

2 tablespoons rosemary, sifted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 3/4 cups warm water (115 degrees)

Note: Sifted rosemary is smaller than regular rosemary.  You can use a mortar and pestle to do it yourself.

Follow the same instructions found in my recipe section entitled “Gluten-free school Sandwiches” for the Ciabatta buns.  I love this better taste and hope you enjoy it too..

Is It IBS Or Gluten Intolerance? Part 2

March 15th, 2016

In my prior Blog I mentioned various symptoms that relate to IBS.  I did not mention last time about the various tests and MRI scans that the physicians can now use and many new medications such as Viberzi that are being used and tested.  These issues you should discuss with your physician.  The food triggers that seems to start symptoms of IBS are many.  Some I noted in my prior Blog such as: dairy products, alcohol, chocolate, fruits, and fatty meats. Eating out can be a scary exercise due to the response you might get.  Use of probiotics, Acidophilus (in pill or yogurt form) is a must.  Extra fiber is also recommended.  It use to be “psyllum seed” was the fiber of choice.  Now other fibers such as ” acacia senegal” are also used.

Lost of the Lactose enzyme is common in IBS.  Whether it is restored or not depends on the individual, their health, and their age.

Gluten Intolerance is an auto-immune response to the protein “gluten”.  Once you ingest the protein is takes up to 72 hours for the response.  The reaction also goes away up to 72 hours after the last amount of gluten is ingested.  If the reaction is immediate it is not intolerance.  It can be an allergy which is treated differently.  Consult you physician.  Lactose intolerance can be associated with gluten intolerance.  It has been my experience that once the gluten problem is under control, the lactose intolerance will also cease.  However, again this is not always true with each individual’s response being different.  Once again the age issue is important for the person to be able to ingest diary product again.

Is It IBS Or Gluten Intolerance?

February 20th, 2016

Before we discuss IBS vs. Gluten Intolerance (Celiac Disease) it is important that you have not been diagnosed with any inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis.  Taking fiber with either of these diseases will cause bowel obstruction, abscessing.  This will result in a trip to the hospital.  Later in this article the “fly in the ointment” lactose intolerance and how it fits in with IBS and Gluten Intolerance will be discussed.

IBS is a chronic, functional disorder of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.  It has recurrent diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both.  This symptoms will last for months to years.  It can be accompanied by abdominal pain and discomfort while defecating.  Other symptoms are bloating, abdominal extension, chronic headaches and fatigue.  IBS has food triggers and they are many: red meats, dark pork and chicken, milk, butter, cheeses, ice cream, egg yolks, fried food, coconut, all fats (oil, shortening, butter,margarine), chocolate, coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, Sorbital and other artificial sweeteners,  fruit and vegetables with thick skins ( i.e. green peppers, grapes), whole wheat, popcorn, whole nuts, and fresh fruit juices. Check an IBS site for a more complete list.

Gluten Intolerance or Celiac Disease is the inability to digest the protein gluten.  Gluten is found in wheat, malt, some barley,and rye.  This protein stimulates the immune system to produce certain antibodies.  The result is damage to the lining of the small intestine and the flattening of the villi.  Gluten Intolerance or Celiac Disease is NOT an allergy.  Allergies can be outgrown while autoimmune disorders are for life.  To stop the symptoms you must stop eating gluten period.  The symptoms of Celiac Disease are more numerous than IBS. Some symptoms are: diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, fatigue, and 35 other symptoms.  You can find the rest in my Blog entitled “The 35 symptoms of Celiac Disease”.  Celiac Disease unlike IBS does not normally have the symptom of constipation.

Now for “The Fly in the Ointment”, with both Celiac Disease (gluten intolerance) and IBS you have a very high risk of destroying your lactose enzyme!  Whether you recovery or not is individual.  The symptoms of Lactose Intolerance is extreme to mild diarrhea in 10 minutes to 2 hours after consumption of the dairy product.  Sometimes even taking a lactose enzyme digestive supplement will not help.  How do you live with IBS, Gluten Intolerance, and Lactose Intolerance?  That is next month’s topic.

Super Bowl Recipes Gluten-free

January 19th, 2016

It’s Super Bowl time again and you are the host of this year’s event.  You know you have some friends that are gluten sensitive or just choosing not to eat gluten.  No problem!  Compared to years past it is so easy to make and choose gluten-free items.  There are a plethora of gluten-free choices in the market and grocery stores these day.  All of them are tasty.  Also it now takes very little work to change a recipe to gluten-free. The following are ideas for a gluten-free Super Bowl Party:

1. Chicken wings with Asian sauce or Barbecue sauce.  Most ketchups, barbecue sauces, and some Asian sauce will tell you at the start of the ingredients that they are gluten-free.

2. Hummus with vegetables.  A perfect easy appetizer.  Hummus lately comes spicy or with garlic.

3. Guacamole dip.  This you should make yourself.  Use two avocados mashed, add fresh salsa, minced garlic, 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, and salt and pepper to taste.  Fresh is always the best.  Serve with corn chips.

4. Nachos.   Place corn chips on a plate.  Add meat (cooked sausage or ground beef) green onion, chili mixed with cumin and oregano or black beans mashed and mixed with salsa,  cover with shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake for 7 minutes at 350.  Comes out better than microwaving.  Top with sour cream and guacamole.

5. Grilled Pesto Shrimp.  Marinate: peeled, deveined, large shrimp overnight in gallon storage bag containing pesto and shrimp.  Barbecue over  grill using skewers for 2 – 3 minutes on each side or until opaque.  Do not overcook.

6. Cheese and crackers.  Lately the gluten-free crackers are getting very tasty.  I especially like Mary’s cone crackers and Glutino vegetable crackers.  If you are looking for non-cow cheeses try sheep milk ( Roquefort or Basque) and other pressed cheeses.  The best place I’ve found for sheep milk cheese is Whole Foods.

7. Potato skins.  Something fun to do.  A day ahead cook as many potatoes that you need for an hour at 400 or until the skins are crisp and the inside soft.  Cool slightly, cut the potato on the curved side in half (potatoes have a somewhat flat side and curved side).  Remove inside of potato and put in bowl.  Mash potato in bowl with sour cream and butter.  Add sliced green onions, cooked bacon, salt and pepper and herbs for taste.   Meanwhile, cut each half potato in half so you have 4 potato skins from each potato.  Place mixture on potato skins, top with shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake in 350 oven until hot and cheese melted about 7 to 10 minutes.

8. Meatballs in sauce.  I have not found premade gluten-free meatballs yet.  You will have to make your own meatballs.  There are a great many gluten-free bread crumbs that are really good.  Panko makes a gluten-free one.  Aleias Italian breadcrumbs are very nice and in a pinch Glutino vegetable crackers can be make into breadcrumbs without too much work.  All of these choices are good.  Then cook the meatballs in a crockpot with you favorite jelly and chili sauce mixture or barbecue sauce and you have a Super Bowl favorite.

Enjoy!

For more recipes check out my “Safe and Sane Super Bowl” recipes in my recipe section.

Annual Safety Food Safety Tips for the Holidays. Plus a recipe

November 21st, 2015

With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, individuals are buying food supplies for Turkey, Ham, and/or Prime Rib meals.  Add to these foods are the stuffing, mash potatoes or twice baked potatoes, gravy, appetizers, cookies, breads, and pies.  Champagne, wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages will be consumed.  It’s a time for family gatherings and reunions.

At these gatherings will be individuals who have health and dietary issues, diabetic issues, cardiovascular issues, and just people that will not be used to consuming so much food.  One of the biggest complaints after these huge meals is Gastric Reflux.  This is because of the extreme amount of acid that is found in the before mentioned foods.  Other problems that will bring EMTs and the fire department to your house are:  Syncope (loss of consciousness), strokes and TIAs (mini strokes), choking, heart problems, anxiety problems, and alcohol related problems.  There are ways to avoid some of these problems.  Do not serve foods that are high in salt.  Examples include: processed cheeses and meats,  processed puddings and soups.  Many of the older population are losing their ability to digest lactose in milks, soft cheeses, cream cheese, and sour cream.  Instead of making dips with these soft dairy products use hummus and salsa for dips. Another idea is substitute parsnips for potatoes in the mash potatoes.  Make sure you serve a green salad or a salad using apples.  If your seniors take a nap after the big meal, monitor them afterward for confusion or difficulty with speech or arm movements.  Hope these ideas help ensure a healthy and happy gathering for all included.  Happy Holidays!

Below is the recipe for “Gluten-free Zucchini Bread”.  For other ideas check  my “Holiday Feast” recipes in the recipe section.

Gluten-free Zucchini Bread

2 1/2 cups terry’s gluten-free flour blend

1 teaspoon both baking powder and soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

2 cups shredded zucchini

2 egg, beaten

3/4 cup white sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 to 3/4 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Note: Terry’s Flour Blend should contain 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum for every 1 1/4 cup of flour.

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans.  In bowl mix flour, spices, baking powder and soda.  In another bowl mix sugars with the oil, then add eggs and vanilla.  Mix  together.  Add dry mixture to egg mixture.  Add shredded zucchini to mixture.  Next add pecans. Pour mixture in to loaf pans.  Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool loafs on wire racks.

Colon and Bowel Cancer together with Celiac Disease

October 30th, 2015

Individuals with Celiac Disease have a higher risk of colon cancer and others forms of bowel cancer than any other group.  One of the reason for this is the inability of a Celiac diagnosed individual to digest lipids.  One type of lipid is Saturated fats such as: bacon sausage, hot dogs etc.  A recent study is showing an 18% increase chance of bowel cancer among individuals that eat bacon, sausage, hot dogs and the like.  I wonder how many of these individuals also have Celiac disease. Probably a pretty high percentage.  So what do you do?  Again the answers are the same.  First and most important is exercise and weight control. Eat a high fiber diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains (but not those grains that contain gluten).  Limit red meats and processed meats.  Eat foods rich in calcium.  Do not smoke.  Limit alcohol consumption. Get screened for colon cancer early.  Finally, get at least 7 hours of sleep a day.  Most important of all if you stomach reacts to a processed meat or fat -STOP  EATING IT!

The following are some examples of fiber that would be easy to add to your diet.  First have a nightly salad.  Add to this salad the following: frozen artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, red peppers, chopped, kale, mushrooms ( not the white ones with out any taste), green onions, pomegranates, apples, and nuts.  This is a good way to sneak vegetables into the meal.

For other ideas on meals, check out my book “Food to Some, Poison to Others” on Kindle.  Next month on my blog, I will have some new recipes for the Holidays.

Are Small Studies Helpful?

September 21st, 2015

Two new studies are currently making news in the media.  One from Europe and the other from Australia.  The first study is noting that some individuals who test negative for Celiac Disease, still have the same symptoms that Celiac individuals have.  While the other study notes that gluten sensitive individuals are not sensitive to gluten but to FODMAPs, a group of poorly digested carbohydrates that may be the problem.  Both studies had a very small group of participants.  The Australian study did not have a control group or a blind test for each group.  Plus the FODMAPs study was funded by a large company that produces breads, pastas, and cakes.  I find this very suspect.  It saddens me that the media pick up on the second study and not the first.  It seems these days the reporters (I can’t call them journalists), are not doing their research.  The public at large are getting information that has not been tested properly, yet still being promoted by the media. Both these small studies are interesting but more studies are needed.

Notes on New Research and New Tests on Celiac Disease

August 24th, 2015

Physicians around the world are now more aware of the likely- hood of Celiac Disease.  Some of the classic symptoms the research suggests as guidelines are: weight loss, diarrhea, mal-absorption, and short statue.  The testing by the physicians should show a higher anti-tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG).  The testing should also show a positive anti-endomysial antibody (EMA) blood test.  The individual should be a heredity risk for the disease, having HLADQ2 or HlADQ8 genes.  This is great except that still Celiac Disease does not have a standard for defining a positive or negative Celiac Disease Blood test.  Most lab professionals vary in their testing and results.  This causes confusion with the physicians and patients.  In the end it will lead back to “Gluten elimination” and ”Gluten challenge”.  With infants this type of testing and elimination is easy, not so with older children and adults.

An exiting new test on the horizon is a new urine test for Celiac Disease.  This test looks for gluten peptides in the urine.  The correlation of gluten peptides in mucosal damage was found higher than other markers available on the market.  According to the researchers as low as 50 mg of gluten peptides can be detected in the urine.  This test is so much easier to do and easier on the patient than a small intestinal biopsy.  Hopefully this test will be available to the public at large for self testing at some point.  While the stool test is accurate, the urine test is accurate and less messy.

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