Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bread for Dipping, Eating, Breadcrumbs, Croutons, Sandwich's

You Do Not Need To Get a Huge Loaf. Find An Individual One And Your Good To Go.
Your Can Use This For Breading, Breadcrumbs, Croûton's, Stuffing, Dipping, Sandwich, and A Panini, etc.

Basil At The Store

If You Can't Find Fresh Basil. Find It at The Store.

Salads With Veggies From The Farmers Markets

Salads Are Not Just for the Summer In My House. I Try To Eat Salads Every Day of The Week All Year Long.  The only times I don't is if I run out of salad, am out of town and it is not available or I  am to sick to go to the store. Of course living in the suburbs of Illinois there are times in the Deep Winter when it too cold and there is too much snow or ice on the road to even get to the stores for anything.

When I think of salad I do not think in terms of just lettuce alone. To me salad can be tomato, cucumbers & onion with some spices, oil & vinegar. There is the caprese salad, cucumber, onion & tomato salad, kidney bean salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, protein bean salad, nut salad, etc. The list is vast and could be a whole book on different types of salad.

Here is a simple one.

Dice 2-3 Large Cucumbers
Dice & Seed 6 Large Plum (Roma Tomatoes) More if They Are Small
Cut Up Several Leaves of Fresh Basil Depending on The Size
1/4 Cup Diced Buffalo Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 TSP Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Equal Amount or More of Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 TSP Ground Black Pepper

Mix All Together in a Bowl & Your Ready To Eat

Rachel's Bruscheta Spread

  • 8 Plum Tomatoes, diced or canned no salt or sugar added plain stewed tomatoes
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh minced basil  
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper add a little bite to this.
  • 1 Bowl

Mix all together and your ready to eat as is or you can top on a pizza or on sliced baguette bread. You can also leave this sit all day covered and serve as your pasta sauce. If you want some bite add some chili oil or roasted red pepper flakes.

My Lazy Caprese Salad

Have not been food shopping in a week or so and I had a taste for a caprese salad so I decided to just use a regular tomato, a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some whole basil and whole buffalo mozzarella. I did not chop any tomatoes, chop any cheese or my basil like I usually do. In addition I decided to put it in some tinfoil and refrigerate overnight. Here it is ready to eat. There are no set amounts, just use as many tomato & cheese slices as you want based on how many people you want to feed. The only thing you do is drizzle 1 or 2 tablesppons of your olive oil and a splash of ground pepper. If you want a detailed recipe which requires chopping items I will post this in the future.

Holidays, Exercise, My On Going Weight Battle

Being a single never married 47 year old without children and much closer to 50 then I want to be, the holidays just do not have the same appeal for me as they did when I was much younger.

Recently, I have felt that holidays are more enjoyable if you are married, have a boyfriend, girlfriend or have children. It has started to feel as a single person that one is just invited along as an afterthought or that relatives feel guilty if your at home alone on a holiday? On the flip side I have a friend who relatives are all divorced who go to holidays & only 1 person is married. In my family everyone is married except me so I always feel that I have no one to talk to, they are always busy talking with there spouses or with there kids and I am just there and many times no one talks to me.

Has it always been this way, or am I just more cognizant of this with the loss of way too many friends younger then me or my age from cancer or other diseases?

Do I feel this way because I no longer work and have to battle daily with all my health issues and my serious financial insecurity?

 Lately, I feel that people who know me treat me differently, perceive me as being lazy and just not wanting to work like they do. Those who do not know me, think I am normal when they see me at the support group.

My goal is to try and not end up in a wheelchair along with doing whatever I can to prevent from becoming a diabetic. To accomplish this, I have been following a low glycemic way of eating, decreased foods that cause inflammation and pain, decreased gluten, increased lean proteins, vegetable and fruits, decreased carbs and sugars.

The other way to prevent diabetes is exercise and losing weight. I have a free scholarship to the wellness center affiliated with the hospital where most of my doctors are on staff. I have been going there and doing water classes in the warm water therapy pool, riding the recumbent bike, movements in the warm pool on my own, tried some machine with weights. Some modified Yoga classes at the Cancer Carer Center. It seems to be a never ending battle, if I exercise to strenuously or do the movements and other activities in the same day then I am in pain for days and have difficulty getting out of bed. On the flip side, then I have days where if I don't get in the pool, or do a few yoga movements then I can barely move either and have difficulties just walking, cooking and other activities.

My goal in January 2009 was to lose 70LBS. I lost 30LBS but then medication caused me to gain it all back. Fast forward July 2009 and a new adrenal tumor developed. Because of this I was not allowed to exercise for 6 1/2 months which carried over into January 2010. Jan 2010 I started out the year 2LBS heavier then before my weight loss quest started Jan 2009. So Jan 2010 came and my goal was to lose 72LBS for the year.

I was doing great but then Feb 2010 new health issues surfaced which caused me to not work out again till May. I had some health setbacks in Aug - Nov 2010. Here it is November 2010 and I have only re-lost 28lbs. On the plus side, now I only need to lose 52lbs to weigh less then I did in 1996 when my Cancer Odyssey and my health decline started.

I have a feeling it will take me another year or more to be able to lose this?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffed Pumpkin Pancakes

• 1/4 Cup Softened Weight Watchers or Neufachel Cream Cheese
• 1/2 Ripe Banana, Mashed
• 1 Cup Buttermilk or Light Vanilla Soymilk
• 1/3 Cup Pumpkin Puree
• 2  Beaten Egg Whites
• 1 Tablespoon Smart Balance Melted Butter Blend Stick
• 3/4 Cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour 
• 1/2 Cup Sweet Rice Flour
• 1 Tablespoon Agave Syrup
• 2 Teaspoons baking Powder
• 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
• 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
• 1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
• 3/4 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum

1. Mix together cream cheese and mashed banana in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a second bowl, mix together the following wet ingredients: milk, puree, egg whites and butter blend.
3. In a third bowl, mix together the following dry ingredients: flours, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, sea salt and nutmeg.
4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5. Heat Electric Griddle to 325 degrees and Grease with 1 tablespoon butter blend.
6. Drop Spoon-Size dollops onto hot griddle. Put a spoonful of banana and cream cheese mixture on each and top with enough pancake batter to cover. Cook for 3 minutes per side.
7. Slide cooked pancakes onto a plate and enjoy with as is or with your own maple syrup. I use Maple Grove Farms Sugar Free made with Splenda.

Healthy Potato Spinach & Bean Dish

1 Small Russet, Yukon & Red Potato. Washed & Cubed.
1/4 Cup Sliced Onions
1/4 - 1/2 Cup White Cannelini or White Kidney Beans
1/4 Cup Cooked Spinach
1/4 Cup Diced Tomatoes
1-2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TBSP Chives
1/4 TSP Sea Salt
1 TSP Minced Garlic
1TSP Ground White Pepper
1 Saucepan
1 Oven Dish
1 Mirowave Dish

Washed & Cut your potatoes, Add to Microwave Dish and Microwave till half soft. Remove & Set Aside,
Add Oil to saucepan and heat.
Add in chives, sea salt, onion, garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Set aside.
Pour potatoes into oven dish, add in tomatoes & spinach. Top with oil mixture and finish in oven till potatoes are done 15-25 Minutes.

Quick BBQ Sauce Ground Chicken Sausage Pizza

1 Large ALL Natural Prepared Piazza Crust
Organicville BBQ Sauce or other brand Made With Agave
Chopped Frozen or Whole Leaf Spinach Cooked & Drained
Ground Chicken Italian Sausage Cooked & Cubed
Imported Sheep's Milk Pecorino Romano Cheese
Diced Red Onions
1/4 -1/2 Cup Whole Roasted Garlic Gloves
1 Pizza Pan

Spread Top With BBQ Sauce
Spread Evenly Cooked Spinach
Sprinkle Cheese Over Spinach
Sprinkle 1 TBSP Diced Red Onions
Place Chicken Sausage On Piazza
Place Garlic Gloves Where You Have Openings

Ready to Bake

Finished Ready To Eat

Great Tofu

Perfect Tofu Meals Every Time.
Use Firm or Extra-Firm For Stir Frys, Fritatas, Potato One Pots, Omelette's and More.

Fast Soy Chai Latte At Home

Instead of spending all that money on a daily basis at a coffee chain, tea house, grocery store, health club or at the book store make it yourself at home. Yes, you heard right I said make it at home. The are several ways to do this at home.

My 1st Fast & Easy Way
You Can Use Regular Flavor or Decaf Which Both Have Lot of Sugar.
My Diet is Quite Restricted So I Use Lots of Products With Splenda.

Pour 2-3OZ of Chai Tea Latte Concentrate Into A Microwavable Container.

Then Add in 5 or 6 Oz of A Soymilk into your container.
Microwave Till It is Warm For a Minute or Two or Less
If your Microwave is Strong try 30 Seconds.

Top With a Squirt of Natural Whip Cream

Most Important Top With Cinnamon

If you prefer, you can pour your Soymilk and Chai tea latte concentrate into a pan and bring to a rolling boil.

The 2nd way would be to make a cup of chai regular or decaf tea with a tea bag and then steam some soymilk in a steamer.

Best Way To Buy Buttermilk

Instead of buying an entire quart of fresh buttermilk and having it go bad because I typically only use a few tablespoons at a time. I buy powdered buttermilk and then mix it with water whenever I need to use it for making pancakes, dressings, breading for fish, or for any other cooking I do. Here is my brand of choice.

Saco cultured Buttermilk blend.

Are Vaccinations A Good Thing or Not?

This topic has been all across the board. There are believers and then there are parents who swear that there children developed Autism because of this. According to the United States Government, Scientists, and Doctors this is not the case.

When I was born back in 1963 I was given vaccinations for diptheria, tetanus, pertusis (whooping cough) polio, small pox and the measles. In 1965 I received my 1st 3 in 1 DPT Booster. I had the German Measles now called Rubella before a vaccine existed. In 1977 I received my 2nd 3 in 1 DPT Booster and a mumps vaccination shot as that was now available. Apparently I was supposed to receive my next 3 in 1 in 1987 but nobody told my mother or me. So in June 1995 when I had an injury I had to get this 3 in 1 in the E.R.

While on vacation in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico in the summer of 2000 I was bit by something and my skin swelled and I could not even wear regular shoes. The medical personal in Mexico's solution was for me to get calomine lotion for my horrible itching.  I immediately went to my doctor upon my return home who took pictures of my bites and sent the pic's to the CDC in Atlanta which required me to then receive another 3 in 1 Booster. In addition I was put on several powerful drugs which took a while for me to get better. Perhaps if the had proper medical care in Mexico I would not have been so sick? Also, I doubt they even knew what a 3 In 1 Tetanus Booster was there?

When I applied to go to graduate school in Fall 2003 for the Jan 2004 semester I was told that I would have to get an MMR Vaccine despite the fact that I had already received the measles & mumps vaccines and had the measles. If I wanted to go Graduate School that was my only option. They wanted to give me the Chicken Pox Vaccine Varicella released in Korea & Japan in 1988 and available in the U.S. in 1995 but my doctor's convinced them not too as I already had chicken pox and there were deaths from the vaccine.

Over the years I would get the flu every season, sometimes more then one kind and looked at it this, as just another yearly illness. To be honest there were a lot off rumors out there, that said you would get sick from
the flu shot so I never bothered. Fast forward to 2008 and my Immunologist doctor said, "you should get one", this was actually the first time that I did not become sick the whole season. I became a believer in getting the FLU shot at that point, after 1 flu-free year. Was I just being naive and setting my self up for problems the next year?

In Jan 2009 my Immunologist found out that I had no antibodies of any kind to the Pneumonia so I received my 1st Pneumonia Vaccine and was told I am good for five years. Then in Sept 2009 right thru to October 2009 I was a victim of the new H1N1 Flu for 6 or was it 7 weeks of pure torture. The doc said, I was just unlucky to get this new flu before a vaccine was developed. Once I recovered I received the reg flu shot and was good for the season. No H1N1 shot in 2009 as I already had it and what a nightmare that was!

I received my 2010 FLU Shot October 31 and figured I was good for the season. Why is it that when you receive a vaccination you think that your safe and will not get sick?

On November 12, 2010 it was now time for my next 3 in 1 TDAP Booster. Immediately following this I spent the next 7 days 1st with hives, a fever, nauseated, no appetite, severe stomach cramps, headaches, diarrhea, joint pains, then a cough which hurt my ribs, no voice and severe congestion.

Had to go to my doctor November 19, 2010 to find out I had an allergic reaction to my Tdap Shot, possibly the norovirus, had the flu, and a new virus that hit this year. He said that I did not have all the issues just from the vaccination? I wonder about this?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Prevent The Dreaded Holiday Weight Gain

Some of you might think that I was a "mean old witch" for Halloween. Nothing could be further from the truth, I just finished my second Halloween holiday without  buying any candy to give out to trick or treators. This strategy has allowed me to not gain the dreaded Halloween 10-20lbs from having bags of leftover chocolate candy laying around for the next year saying EAT ME!  The second reason I did not buy any candy is because financially I can't afford it. I am dependent on relatives to pay for my groceries and to pay for my entire cost of living due to my vast number of health issues which have prevented me from working for the last 3 1/2 years. The final reason is that I do not want to help more children in the United States to become obese and diabetic by supplying them with candy.

Many people think of Holiday weight gain starting with Christmas and forget to factor in that it actually starts with Halloween. An innocent piece of candy becomes 2 pieces then 3 and just escalates till the entire bag of candy has been consumed. This all starts to add up and by Thanksgiving time you can easily gain 10 or 20 LBS. The fat, carbs, calories, and sugar just keep coming all the way thru the New Year. By this point it's possible to have actually gained up to 30 LBS which can then take you another year to lose. Then you start the cycle all over again every year. The key is not to gain any weight during the holidays in the fist place.

Holiday get-togethers nearly always involve food and lot'f of it. It's all to easy to take in an entire days or week's worth of calories during the holidays. With this in mind here are a few simple changes that you can do to make your holiday habits healthier.

Cut The Fat: The majority of traditional holiday recipes are extremely high with fat that is not necessary.
Replace Fat in Deserts, Casseroles, Main Entrees. Use Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt Instead of Sour Cream. Use Buttermilk for Baking Meats Instead of Frying Them.  Use Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oils. Use Two Egg Whites instead of One whole Eggs. Use unsweetened applesauce to replace almost all the butter, margarine, and oil in recipes. Use light or fat free cheese or use soy cheese or rice cheese to reduce calories & cholesterol.

Limit The Sugar: Cookies and other baked goods will still taste great if you substitute spices such as cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg for a portion of the sugar. To further reduce the sugar switch to Splenda for baking or to add to a sauce for pastas, chili, and other dishes. In most recipes you can remove 3/4 of the sugar or all if you prefer. Use 1/4 TSP Agave Syrup in place of 1 Cup of Honey. Use Torani Sugar-Free Syrups for Carmel, Vanilla, Hazelnut and more in baked deserts. Instead of frosting any baked goods, dust them with some cinnamon and  some Splenda.

Limit The Carbs: Holiday meals are traditionally loaded with sweet and starchy foods high in carbohydrates. Limit the carbs by substituting mashed califlower in place of regular mashed potatoes and not having any rolls or bread on the table. Use Whole Grain or Whole Wheat Bread if you choose to make a stuffing and reduce your amount of stuffing by half or more by using roasted vegetables, such as eggplant or zuchinni.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baked Gluten Free Swai, Catfish, or Tilapia Fillets

4 TBSP Saco Cultured Buttermilk Blend Powder To Make 1 Cup or 1 Cup Fresh Low Fat Cultured Buttermilk
1 Cup Water
3 Tablespoons Spice Hunter Salt Free Seafood Grill & Broil Blend or other Salt Free Blend
2-3 Teaspoons Ground White Pepper
1 Tablespoon Frontier Garlic Granules or other brand Without Salt
1 Cup All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1/2 TSP Sea Salt
1-2 Tablespoons Garlic Paste
4-5 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Stick Smart Balance Butter Blend Sticks or Other Low Fat High Omega 3 Natural Blend Butter Stick
Fat Free Olive Oil Cooking Spray
1/4 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
16 Oz, Thawed Swai, Catfish or Tilapia Fillets
1 Bowl For Buttermilk
1 Bowl For Dry Mixture & Spices
Flat Oven Safe Casserole Dish

Preheat Oven To 350
Spray Casserole Dish & Add in EVOO
Melt Butter Blend & Garlic Paste in Microwave or Saucepan On Stovetop Range.
Pour Melted Butter Blend & Garlic Into Casserole Dish, Set Aside
Pour or Prepare 1 Cup Buttermilk in Large Bowl
Mix Flour, Sea Salt, Garlic Granules, White Pepper, Seafood Grill Blend In 2nd Large Bowl
Dip Each Piece of Your Chosen Fish Into Buttermilk Bowl, Then Dip Into Flour Mixture And Place Into Casserole Dish On Top Of Melted Butter & Garlic. Add Each TBSP of  Lemon Juice In 4 Sections of Your Dish.

Bake 35-45 Minutes or Until Your Chosen Fish Can Be Cut & Flakes. Cooking Time Will Vary Based on The Thickness of Your Fillet, Age & Type of Oven You Use. If You Prefer You Can Fry This. I Prefer To Bake Almost Everything.

Ready To Bake

Halfway Done, Flip Over And Add Some Additional Seafood Grill & Broil Blend on Fish.

Sliced Up & Ready To Eat

No One Knows It is Baked & Gluten Free Unless You Tell Them

Whole Grain Brown Rice, Orzo, Bulgur With Spinach, Tomato, Onions & Garlic

Mix Whole Grain Brown Rice, Whole Grain Orzo, Whole Grain Bulgur To End Up With 2 Cups of Grains
1/4 Cup Thawed Chopped Frozen Spinach
1 Tomato Diced & Seeded
2 Tablespoons Diced Onions
1 Tablespoon Pecorino Romano Cheese
Frontier Garlic Granules or Other Organic or All Natural Non Irradiated Brand
Smart Balance Spray
1 3/4 - 2 Cups Very Low Sodium Chicken Stock (95MG)

Microwave Safe Casserole Dish
Pour Whole Grain Mixture into Casserole Dish
Add in Chicken Stock or Broth
Add in Spinach,Tomato, Onions,
Add in Garlic Granules & Mix.
Microwave Until Liquid is Absorbed Based on Package Instructions
Remove From Microwave Top With a Dusting of Pecorino &1-2 Squirts Smart Balance Spray  Serve

Quick & Easy Chicken Pesto Empanada's

Trader Joe's Frozen Grilled Chicken Breast Strips Cooked & Cubed, Another Brand or Make Your Own
Classico Pesto Sauce, Other Brand or Make Your Own
1 15 Oz Package Refrigerated Pie Crusts or Frozen Gluten Free Dough Thawed
1 Baking Sheet
1 Plate
Floured Baking Spray
Pastry Brush

Roll Out Pie Crust On A Lightly Floured Surface With Regular Flour or Gluten Free Flour
Make 3 Inch Rounds Using A Juice Glass Or Round Cookie Cutter
Make 12-15 Round Circles of Dough. Reshape Dough As Needed.
Place Circle on Plate & Brush Edge With Water
Fill With 1 Teaspoon of Chicken & Dusting of Pesto Sauce in Center of Dough. Fold Over & Seal Edges With a Fork.
Spray Baking Sheet And Place All Empanadas on Sheet & Bake Using The Instructions For Your Prepared Packaged Dough.

Top With Pasta Sauce Or Eat Plain.

Tofu Mushroom Hashbrown One Pot Dish

1 Package Cascadian Farms Frozen Hash Browns Semi-Thawed or Other Low or No Sodium Brand
1 Package Nasoya Extra Firm Cubed Tofu or Other Brand You Can Slice in Cubes
16 OZ Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
8 OZ Thawed & Drained Whole Leaf Spinach Low Sodium
1 Can 14-16 Oz. Diced No Salt Added Tomatoes or Use Fresh & Remove Seeds
1/4 Cup Imported Fine Pecorino Romano Cheese (Consistency of Parmesan)
Fat Free Olive Oil Spray & 1/4 TSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Oven Safe Flat Casserole Dish With Cover

You Can Prepare This & Let Hang Out in The Fridge Until Your Ready To Cook, You Can Also Freeze This Until Your Ready To Cook or Cook & Freeze Leftovers.

Preheat Oven to 350 or 375 Depending On Age of Your Oven

Spray Casserole Dish, Add Oil
Spread Hashbrowns Across Bottom of Dish
Layer Cubed Tofu Over Hashbrowns
Layer Mushrooms
Layer Spinach
Layer Tomatoes
Sprinkle Cheese Over Everything And Bake 35-45 Minutes at 375 or An Hour at 350

Ready To Bake And Then Eat

If You Want More Sauce Then Add in Some Low Fat Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce Mix & Bake
As In this PIC.

All Done & Ready To Enjoy

Bell Pepper Fajitas With Portobello Mushrooms

1 Small Orange & 1 Small Yellow Bell Pepper Sliced (Any Color Except Green)
1-2 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Sliced Onions
1 Tablespoon Diced Cilantro
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Salt Free Frontier or Brand of Fajita Seasoning
2-3 Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice
8 Oz Sliced Portobello Mushrooms
12-16 Oz Petite Sirloin Steak or Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts (Optional)
1 Skillet

Pre-Heat EVOO In Skillet Over Medium High Heat, Add in Your Chicken or Steak if Using, Then Add in Peppers, Mushrooms, Cilantro, Cumin & Fajita Seasoning And Cook. Halfway thru Add in The Garlic, Onions, & Lime Juice.

Can be served over a salad with some fresh avocado slices, & plain fat free Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Can be served in a Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortilla With Some Guacamole & Greek Yogurt, Can Also Be Served on Top of Cooked Black Beans With No Added Salt & Some Brown Rice or any other way you prefer.

Halfway Done With Thin Sirloin Steak

Ready To Eat