Chicken Burgers

chicken_patty

Have you ever just been…tired of chicken? Like, maybe you prepared a whole chicken for supper, and it’s time to use the rest up, and you just can’t face another plate of chicken, rice, and veggies?

Make these. Seriously. I was surprised at how well they held together. The recipe, adapted from the fabulous Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar book, lists chicken mince. Just for full disclosure, instead of mince, I used already cooked chicken. (I’ve seen ground turkey mince in stores, but never chicken mince.)

Also, I only used eight ounces, so you may want to use a little bit more seasoning, like mint or extra pepper, if you use the full pound. If the burger patties are not sticking together, consider using another egg, a flaxseed egg, or a few more breadcrumbs.

If you use gluten-free breadcrumbs, make sure the breadcrumbs are low oxalate. I find a lot of gluten-free flours use potato starch, which irritates me.

Ingredients

1 lb. chicken mince (I used already cooked, shredded chicken)
1/2 cup finely chopped mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint (which is what I used)
1 teaspoon ground cumin OR one capsule opened curcumin (low oxalate option)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons gluten-free breadcrumbs
1 egg (to bind)
sea salt and white pepper
coconut oil (for frying)

Directions

Assemble the chicken patties. Combine the mince or shredded, cooked chicken with the herbs, spices and breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and add it. Mix until everything is well combined, then season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Moisten your hands a bit, then divide the mixture into four patties. Make each patty as big as your palm, then press to flatten. Store the patties in your fridge for at least 20 minutes; doing so will help the patties firm up and stay together when you fry them.

Heat one to two teaspoons of coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the burgers for 4-5 minutes on each side. Make sure the burgers are cooked through. They are ready to eat when they are golden brown and a little crispy on both sides.

The burgers reheat well and are also good cold.

This recipe makes four burgers, which are approximately 240 calories apiece.

Adapted from: https://iquitsugar.com/recipe/chicken-burgers/

Bon appétit!

Zucchini and roasted red pepper gratin

Zucchini is still available in this corner of the world, in spite of the cold weather. They sit, on sale, mocking me at the grocery store. Roasted zucchini and tomatoes go so well together, you see. I can’t really eat tomatoes anymore without some discomfort, and tomatoes are no good at this time of year anyway. Then I remember: I can make a version of Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini gratin WITHOUT tomatoes!

I use roasted red pepper, which I buy in a big jar, in place of the tomatoes. They add color and moisture to the dish. Since I don’t use minced garlic, I make sure to taste the rice mixture before putting in the eggs. Feel free to add a little extra seasoning if necessary.

w red_pepper_gratin

1/3 cup uncooked white rice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/2 pound roasted red peppers, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Table salt and white pepper
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1.5 teaspoons of garlic powder (if tolerated)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cook the rice. While rice cooks, coat one large baking sheet with a tablespoon of olive oil (a bit less for smaller pans). Spread zucchini slices on the baking sheets in as close to a single layer as you can. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of white pepper. Roast the zucchini for 20 minutes. Flip zucchini halfway through.

Heat large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, heat oil, then add onions, garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt to pan. Cover and reduce heat to low, cooking onion until limp and tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Taste bits of your dish to see if you have enough seasoning. Combine onion mixture, rice, eggs, thyme, half of your grated cheese and a half-tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl. Add a good amount of white pepper. Use the remaining half-tablespoon of olive oil to coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Spread half of rice mixture in bottom of dish. Arrange half of roasted zucchini on top. Spread remaining rice mixture over it. Arrange remaining zucchini on top, then the roasted red pepper slices. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese and bake until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Adapted from http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/07/zucchini-rice-gratin/

Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake (Savory Dinner Recipe)

caulliflower_cake

1 medium cauliflower (1 1/2 pounds, 23 to 24 ounces or 650 to 700 grams)
1 large red or white onion, peeled
5 to 7 1/2 tablespoons (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
10 medium or 8 large eggs
Handful (3/4 ounce or 20 grams) basil, chiffonaded
Scant 1 1/2 cups (180 grams or 6.3 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground curcumin
2 cups finely grated parmesan cheese (200 grams or 7 3/4 ounces) or about 1 generous cup of grated Romano cheese
Salt and white pepper
Butter, for greasing pan

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) degrees. Break cauliflower into medium florets (this will cause less mess than chopping it). Place floret in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover them with water and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until quite soft. Strain and let drip in the colander for a few minutes so they dry and cool.

Meanwhile, prepare the batter. Halve your red onion and cut a few thin rings off the end of one side; set them aside. Coarsely chop the remainder of your onion. Heat all of your olive oil in a saucepan (consider reusing the one you cooked your cauliflower in) and sautee the chopped red onion and rosemary together until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Whisk eggs and olive oil and onion mixture together. Stir in basil. Whisk flour, baking powder, curcumin, cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (use 1 teaspoon if you are nervous about this amount) and several dashes of white pepper in a separate bowl and add to egg mixture, whisking to remove lumps. Stir in cauliflower gently, so most pieces remain intact.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch (24cm) round springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the sides generously. Pour in the cauliflower batter, arrange the reserved onion rings on top and bake cake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Before you serve the cake, be sure to run a knife around the pan.

Some of you may be wondering…why is there so much flour in a low oxalate recipe? Trust me; this cauliflower “cake” is so dense, one serving is pretty filling. Just be sure to serve it with some low oxalate sides, such as a nice salad made with Romaine lettuce and red peppers, or perhaps some peaches or cherries. I do wonder how you could make it with coconut flour…perhaps using a lot of flaxseed and reducing the amount of flour to ½ cup? I might experiment with it. Rice flour also sounds like a promising experiment.

To clarify, it is a savory dish. Unlike a quiche, the flour is folded directly into the egg mixture. The result is a pretty, tasty dish (though it did stick a bit to the pan). I would recommend using the springform pan. If you don’t have one, be sure to really grease your baking pan; it is a bit sticky. I got many, many servings out of this. It reheats well and makes for an ideal Sunday supper.

Adapted from: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2010/10/cauliflower-and-parmesan-cake/

Super Salad

1.5 cups of romaine lettuce (or a blend of romaine and arugula)
½ ripe avocado, cut into chunks
1 handful alfalfa sprouts
3-4 ounces turkey or chicken breast, cut into chunks (ideally no salt added)
1 ounce crumbled feta
1 tablespoon sunflower or shelled pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon raisins
part of a roasted red pepper, cut into strips
2-3 ounces mushrooms
pinch of salt and white pepper (optional)

Prepare the vegetables; make sure everything is in bite-sized pieces, or whatever thickness you like. Take a big soup bowl and arrange the meat, feta, avocado, and mushrooms. Put the lettuce, sprouts, and red pepper on top of the mixture. Sprinkle the raisins and seeds over the salad; toss lightly.

This particular salad came about when I realized a local sandwich shop also made salads to order. I can make about two or three of these at home for the cost of one in the shop. Admittedly, the one in the shop is more convenient.

Now, let’s get into what to use to DRESS the salad. I have had perfectly lovely flavors (and no reactions) to plain old extra virgin olive oil. I also have used Bragg’s liquid amino acids. Both are very low oxalate; be warned, though, some IC patients can’t tolerate the saltiness that is the liquid soybeans. B_olthouse Farms also makes a somewhat fresh yogurt ranch dressing, but the jury is still out on whether that’s a good choice for me. I have also had this salad plain; the red pepper and sprouts gives it a nice moistness all by itself.

I REALLY like that the above ingredients are basically good to go once you rinse and cut a few things—I keep the separate ingredients in the fridge at work and assemble them at lunch time. I bet Mason jars would work a treat, too.

I like to think of salads as a grain-free sandwich. Just as you can doctor up your sandwich anyway, you could substitute any ingredients you want. To make it vegetarian, try using sliced up firm tofu or boil and roast lentils ahead of time (just remember, ½ cup of tofu or lentils is medium oxalate). Cut up cucumbers, grill some onions—whatever! What do you like on your salad?

Corn Chicken Soup with Mushrooms and Barley

4 chicken thighs, skin removed, bones in

2 quarts chicken stock

2 teaspoons of coconut or olive oil (or rendered chicken fat)

1/4 cup quick barley

1 ear of fresh corn, shucked

1 medium yellow onion

1 clove of garlic

8 ounces of sliced mushrooms, white or baby Portobello

3/4 teaspoon of dried thyme

1 to 3 teaspoons of salt

White pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

Heat one teaspoon of oil on medium heat in a large six-quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Place your sliced mushrooms in the pot and stir them into the oil. Let them sizzle in the oil until most of their water has burned off, at least 6-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. While the mushrooms are cooking, chop your onion and garlic. Add the onions to the pot and stir until they are soft, about four minutes. Add the chopped garlic. Wait 30 seconds or until it is aromatic. Move the vegetables over to the side of the pot.

Now, add the chicken thighs. It will be a tight fit. Let the thighs sit for three minutes or until the skin is golden on the bottom. Flip the chicken and let it sit for three more minutes or until golden. While the chicken is cooking, measure out one quart of your stock (4 cups).

Add one quart of the stock to the pot. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and the bay leaf. Let the soup come to a simmer, then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Turn off the stove burner and move the pot off the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Shred the chicken with two forks or, if you prefer, cut it into evenly sized cubes. Throw away the bones. Your chicken may still be a little pink; it will finish cooking in the next step.

Nestle the shredded chicken back into the soup pot. Add ¼ cup barley with the remaining quart of stock. Cut the kernels from the ear of corn; add the corn kernels. Cover and bring the soup to a boil; simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and white pepper to taste, along with the thyme. Add additional water or stock if the soup is too thick.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-easy-chicken-noodle-soup-178790

This post was inspired by a cold. A cold probably picked up while hooting and hollering to encourage the runners at the Disney World marathon. Since I began the low oxalate diet, I haven’t had access to my usual “I’m sick” comfort foods: some form of condensed soup and a grilled cheese. There’s no attempt at a grilled cheese here, but I think I’ve come up with a darn satisfying soup.

So many chicken soups, homemade or otherwise, have higher oxalate ingredients such as celery and carrots, or bladder irritating ingredients such as large amounts of sodium. I think this recipe finds many of the good things about chicken noodle soup, and converts them to a lower oxalate version.

Barley adds a hint of starchiness and thickness and homemade stock adds a rich taste. The mushrooms are there to give a little depth in flavor; the thyme and bay leaf enhance everything. Corn adds a little color and freshness. If you are doing paleo or primal, it would be very easy to take out the barley. If you don’t have quick barley on hand, rice would make a great substitute. And since I’ve started buying chicken thighs with the bone in (because they are considerably cheaper), this recipe allowed me to leave the bones in. You also can use chicken breasts, or deboned thighs or breasts, but the bones do enrich the flavor. I’m saving up a few bones and skins in the freezer for a homemade chicken broth, but it was nice to use all of the chicken immediately.

I deskinned the chicken thighs and popped them in the oven and made crispy chicken chips, which I intend to use in salad. A bowlful of this got me back on my feet, dreaming about what I can do with the chicken chips in the coming weeks. I may also add frozen peas to the next pot of soup for a little more color.