Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream

2015-05-04 08.09.28

The weather is getting disturbingly summery already. Not to fear: Coconut vanilla ice cream is here. This recipe makes a lush ice cream. It has a strong vanilla flavor with a bit of coconut. Enjoy between graham crackers, if you’d like, as pictured. Or as part of an ice cream cake, or with some caramel syrup on top, or…oh dear. I might have to get another bowl now!

Ingredients

One can of coconut milk (~2 cups or 400 ml)
¼ cup (70g) agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vodka
⅛ tsp salt
Optional: scraped vanilla bean

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill the mixture in your freezer for 20 minutes (or 1 hour in fridge). Churn in your ice-cream maker until smooth and creamy (about 20 minutes).

Note: Guar gum may be substituted for the vodka as an emulsifier. The vodka simply keeps the ice cream from setting up.

Makes several servings; the entire batch is around 900 calories.

I have several experiments in mind for this treat. I’d like to try adding a few drops of peppermint extract. Or perhaps blend it with white chocolate chips. I was honestly surprised at how good they were between two graham cracker halves (we bought S’more supplies, minus the chocolate, naturally, but didn’t make them).

What flavor suggestions do you have? I haven’t found a low oxalate version of butter pecan yet, but I find myself really liking this ice cream, dare I say, better!

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!

Soaked Oats–Sweet and Savory Breakfast ideas

oats

I’ve said it before on this site: I don’t really like oatmeal. Why, then, do I insist on experimenting with oats? I still occasionally munch on Blueberry Breakfast Oats
for breakfast, but I was reading Heidi’s oatmeal cookie recipe, and I thought…hmm, lots of people are talking about the health benefits of soaked oats. Heidi mentions in her recipe here http://lowoxalateinfo.com/oatmeal-raisin-cookies/ that oats soaked overnight have much of the oxalate leach out into the water. Rinse them and they are ready to be used in her delicious cookie recipe…or a simple breakfast.

So, they have less oxalate, but how do soaked oats TASTE?

Folks, they taste pretty good. I soak them overnight, rinse them, throw something sweet or savory on them and heat them up for breakfast. No boiling, 30 seconds to a minute in the microwave, max. The most work I ever do for them is poach an egg ahead of time.

Here are some topping and ingredient ideas for your oats:

Poached egg, sage and olive oil with salt and white pepper to taste

Scrambled egg mixed in with the oatmeal, some salt, olive oil and garlic powder

Blueberries and a few drops of liquid stevia

Thyme, garlic powder and a pinch of salt

Sunbutter and jam (blueberry is my favorite, naturally, but use whatever you and your body like)

Cooked, chopped uncured bacon and a pinch each of garlic powder and white pepper

Pumpkin seeds and pureed, cooked pumpkin or squash (especially good with butter and herbs like sage). Add cinnamon extract and liquid stevia along with the ginger for a sweet version.

Melted coconut oil, coconut milk and shredded coconut

Melted coconut oil and some slightly sweet protein powder (I use vanilla V Core)

Here are instructions for soaking them. If you like traditional oatmeal, add another ½ cup of water to the soaked, rinsed oats and boil them gently for five minutes.

½ cup oats
½ cup water

Combine the oats and water in an airtight container; cover. Wait overnight or for eight hours. Rinse the oats and strain then. In a hurry? Rinse out and dry the container, then use that to take your oats with you. To heat the oats, microwave them for at least 30 seconds or heat them on the stovetop on medium low until warm.

What sounds good to you? I think savory AND sweet soaked oats are going to be part of my weekly meal plan for a long time.

New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas

black_eyed_peas2

New Year’s Day is a special time for me. Long after the midnight revel has ended, and the noisemakers are put away, it is a day to reflect. And to cook. I have wonderful memories of going over to my grandmother’s house on New Year’s Day. We would eat pork roast (which I avoided during a 15-year stint of vegetarianism), and collards, and, of course, black-eyed peas.

“Eat some more for good luck!” she’d say. The collards represented money; the black-eyed peas, luck. Some years I go without the collards, but I would never, ever skip the black-eyed peas.

Please enjoy this recipe. I adapted it from this lovely website:

http://www.yourveganmom.com/your_vegan_mom/2011/12/black-eyed-peas.html

While it’s not going to give the same taste of paprika, the curcumin gives the dish an interesting, deep flavor. If you are not on a low oxalate diet, cumin will do just fine and still be IC friendly. The red pepper gives the dish both color and a lower amount of oxalate.

I do soak my peas, which is probably not necessary, but it helps me worry less about the dish being ready in time for company! Taste the dish often as the beans get soft enough. Add a little extra salt or other seasoning if you need to. In just a few hours, you will have a scrumptious dish to help ring in the New Year. I enjoy this dish with a bit of cornbread (it’s hard to limit myself to one piece!)

1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 opened curcumin capsule
salt and white pepper to taste
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
6 cups water
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
Optional if tolerated: pinch of smoked salt
finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and scallions to garnish

In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the onion and red bell pepper in the butter. Stir in the garlic powder and opened curcumin capsule. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until the beans are soft, about 2 hours.

Have a Happy New Year; I hope this dish helps you enjoy it all the more.

Roasted Pumpkin

pumpkin

Halloween has long come and gone. I was shocked, though, to find my uncarved pumpkin was still good by December! Roasting it whole was fun and yielded a lot of delicious squashy goodness. Squash, especially pumpkin, is one of the most low oxalate things you can eat.

Another nice thing about pumpkin: It can help fill the role of a satisfying starch. If you are avoiding grains altogether, pumpkin is your friend. Pumpkin can even be a treat for your pets; my vet recommends giving a cat or dog on a diet a little pumpkin to ease hunger in between meals.

Trying this recipe, with a big pumpkin or small pumpkin, is absolutely worth it.

Ingredients
one pumpkin, uncarved

Gently wash and dry the outside of your pumpkin. Do not use your pumpkin if there are signs of mold or rot; patchy skin is normal. Using a sharp knife, puncture the skin of the pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove an oven rack so there is enough room for the pumpkin. Place the pumpkin on a baking tray.

Cook it whole for two hours at 350F degrees.

Let the pumpkin cool all the way down, then peel and seed it. First, scoop the strings and seeds out from the middle. If you like, discard the strings and save the seeds. They are very good boiled with a little salt and then baked.

Using a food processor, puree the peeled pumpkin. I suggest using a strainer or cheesecloth to remove any excess water.

Pumpkin freezes well. Use the pumpkin puree to add to soups or desserts, such as pumpkin chicken soup or pumpkin parfait. You can also leave chunks of it whole and enjoy as a very simple side dish.

What ways have you used pumpkins? I would like to put soup IN a pumpkin for a dinner party, kind of like a bread bowl without the bread. I feel as if all the holidays are running together this year; I was hopelessly unprepared for Christmas, but getting the last Halloween decoration on the dinner table reset something in my brain. In honor of more Holiday Time Warps, expect a black-eyed pea recipe soon.

Tortilla Espanola

Do you ever crave something simple? Something you can make with common kitchen staples…or make to use up the five-pound bag of red potatoes you bought pretty much because it was on sale?

Then this dish, my friends, is for you. Red potatoes are lower oxalate than many other kinds of potatoes. You can very easily cut the recipe in half, but it does refrigerate well and keeps for a few days. This recipe makes four servings. If you are having guests over for brunch, it would be the perfect thing to whip up (especially if everyone is sick of Thanksgiving leftovers).

potato_fritattaww

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
About 4 small red potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 onion, thinly sliced
Salt and white pepper (garlic powder is a nice addition)
8 large eggs
Suggested garnish: freshly cut chives

Preheat the broiler to high. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan. Add the potato and onion slices, season with salt and white pepper, and cook over moderate heat, stirring often, until the potatoes and onion are soft but not browned. This could take 10 minutes or a bit longer.

In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and season with salt and white pepper. Scrape the potato mixture into the bowl and mix gently with the eggs.

Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the mixture of eggs, potatoes and onions, spreading it out in an even layer. Cover and cook over low heat until the egg is set around the edges, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and broil for 1-2 minutes, until the top is just beginning to brown.

Set a large plate over the skillet and carefully invert the tortilla onto the plate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from http://www.runnerskitchen.com/tag/tortilla-espanola/

Pumpkin Parfait

wine_parfait

½ cup plain, low fat yogurt
2/3 cup blueberries
½ cup canned or fresh pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla extract, separated
Optional: two teaspoons honey or molasses or ¼ dropper of liquid stevia, blended into the yogurt or pumpkin

Measure out your yogurt and pumpkin into separate containers. Blend them each with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Alternate spoonfuls of yogurt, pumpkin, and blueberries in a wine glass or other clear glass. Serve immediately.

Fall is finally here! While the live oaks keep their color, the sweet gum trees and a few others have started to turn gorgeous. The wind is getting brisk…and I’ve been working on recipes like apple topping and mulled apple cider. Pumpkins are showing up in the supermarkets more frequently. You no longer get strange looks if you ask where the canned pumpkin is. I just had to make something pumpkin-y.

Pumpkin and parfaits were meant to be. The vanilla extract adds a sweetness and depth of flavor to both the yogurt and the pumpkin. Layered between lashings of blueberries, I found this sweet enough by itself. Feel free to add other flavors—cinnamon or cinnamon extract would be lovely, nutmeg, maybe even a hint of ginger or cardamom. If you enjoy grains, you could toast up some oats and sprinkle them on top. I would recommend eating such a creation quickly—the yogurt will get the oats soggy if you let it sit. As it stands, whether you use frozen or fresh blueberries, you can eat this immediately or prepare it the night before. Do expect a little purple effect if you use frozen blueberries overnight.

I like to serve mine in a wine glass, and you could very easily double the recipe.

Each serving has approximately 165 calories, 20 grams of sugar (mostly from the yogurt and blueberries), and 8 grams of protein.

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/

Watermelon Popsicles

popsicle

4-5 cups of seedless watermelon chunks, separated
one tablespoon of agave nectar

Place the first half of the watermelon chunks into a blender. Tamp the chunks down with a spoon so they are closer to the blades of the blender. Get a medium-sized bowl ready. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the watermelon juice into the bowl. Use a spoon to push down any pulp into the bowl; throw away the seeds.
Take the second half of the watermelon chunks and blend them. Strain the juice and seeds into the same bowl. Then, pour the entire bowl of juice back into the blender. Add one tablespoon of agave nectar. Blend until combined.

Pour the juice into your popsicle mold. Freeze until solid, preferably overnight. Ice cube trays or Dixie cups with popsicle sticks make good improvised molds.

I admit, it’s a little late in the season to be posting popsicle recipes. But these are so easy and refreshing. Here in the South, there are going to be several weeks yet of warm weather, perfect for enjoying these on the porch. They are sweet, and a little drippy, and darn near perfect. What sweet, cold things do you find refreshing?

It’s kind of funny…I used to basically eat close to half a box of Popsicles in one go, before I started this journey. One just wouldn’t satisfy whatever craving I had. Now, I can happily gnaw one of these, emphasis on one. I hope they bring you a similar sense of satisfaction.

Also, the Dixie cup popsicles are insanely cute. I have a recipe for blueberry creamsicles I’ll have to share soon, and the sticks stand up straighter. The watermelon mixture is basically juice, so it’s hard to get them to stand upright. They look like little drunken desserts.

Flaxseed Tea

Three tablespoons of raw flaxseed, ground
A cupful of hot water

Place the ground flaxseed in the bottom of a mug. It is best to use raw flaxseed and freshly grind it. Boil water in a tea kettle or on the stovetop. Pour the boiling water over the flaxseed and stir it many times, until the water becomes slightly filmy. Wait for the water to cool down and drink it slowly. If you want some extra omega 3’s, eat the flaxseed; otherwise, just sip the water.

This tea, or tisane, is very useful for flare-ups when your bladder hurts. Flaxseed is also very low oxalate and high in fiber. You can grind flaxseed ahead of time and put it in the freezer.

Since overindulging in some carbonated cider, I have been having a very annoying flare-up. Carbonation, in any form, seems to be a major trigger for me. This tea makes a nice change from chamomile tea. Flaxseed contains a lot of mucilage, soluble fiber. Supposedly, the fiber coats your intestines. Since your intestines are so close to your bladder, this may provide some relief. However, you really do need to stir the flaxseed in the hot water to release the fiber. It does look a bit slimy, but it tastes alright.

Sometimes, simple is good. Right now, I am trying to focus on each moment, each meal, to try and heal.