This past week I made a bunch of chicken broth. It all started with a chicken. Whole chickens were on sale at my store, so I bought one and roasted it. By the way, a great way to plan your weekly menus is to take a look at your local grocery store's ad flyer. Find out what meat and veggies are on sale then decide your menu from there. Back to the chicken. I roasted it. Then we ate it. We didn't eat all of it, so I stripped the bird of it's meat and saved the meat for a casserole later in the week. Then I made broth from the bones.
You can try my recipe for chicken broth here. The great things about making your own broth is that you can customize it. As far as I know, there are no chicken broths on the market that do not have onion (One exception may be Better than Bouillon-Chicken. It doesn't specifically list onion or garlic in the ingredients, but they may be hidden in that annoyingly vague "flavoring" ingredient listed.) If you are sensitive to onion, you may have no choice but to make your own. Even if you don't use onion in your broth, it can still be full of flavor.
I use chicken broth in so many of my recipes. It's a great way to add lots of flavor to dishes. Each recipe calls for a different amount of broth, from 1/2 cup to 2 cups, so I freeze them in different size containers so they are ready to go when I need them. I froze them in 1/2 cup, 1 cup and 2 cups sizes. I use BPA-free plastic containers and make sure the broth is cool before pouring it in.
So that's how I do my chicken broth. Next I will be doing beef broth!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Monday, May 13, 2013
I first want to welcome all of my new readers who have come here through "Welcome Home" on Facebook. Thanks for reading! I suppose I'll tell you all a little about myself and how I came to be writing this blog. My name is Dianne and I work in the natural foods department of a grocery store. I haven't always been in the food business. I have a degree in civil engineering and worked as a civil engineer for about 10 years. When we moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota for my husband's job, I was unable to find a job in engineering myself. Instead, I took a job at the grocery store. I've long since had a passion for nutrition, cooking and food in general. It was a great fit.
My job at the store is part-time, so I found myself with some extra time on my hands. I started getting involved on allrecipes.com, making recipes and taking photos of them. From there I decided to write this blog. I never would have pictured myself as a food blogger, but now it seems like the perfect fit. I get to be artistic with photography and creative making up my own recipes.
You may notice that some of the food I make is "different." Several years ago I noticed that my digestive issues were getting worse, so I started changing my diet to feel better. I was diagnosed with IBS long ago and thought it was just a "non-diagnosis." They couldn't find anything wrong with me, so it must be IBS, and I would just have to put up with it. Although haven't officially been tested for it, I'm pretty sure I have fructose malabsorption too. It was when I learned about fructose malabsorption that I discovered how a low-fructose diet can make all the difference in how I feel. It turns out I've been eating not only a low-fructose diet, but also a low-FODMAP diet as well, which is great for people who suffer from IBS. In fact, a lot of people with IBS also have fructose malabsorption.
So you can find recipes on my blog from before I changed my diet and plenty of recipes that are low-fructose, low-FODMAP and wheat- and gluten-free from after. Here is one such recipe that is gluten-free, low-fructose and low-FODMAP. The only issues with this recipe may be with the dairy products. Hard cheese, such as cheddar, and heavy cream are very low in lactose and I don't seem to have much issue with them. I'm really not sure if I'm lactose intolerant. I was always a big cottage cheese eater and recently stopped eating it and I feel maybe just a tad better. I'm still not sure if it's enough of a difference to go completely dairy-free, though. I love cheese and I love this casserole. It started out as just a chicken and potato casserole, but then I made some changes to it and I decided that it was so similar to the ingredients in a loaded baked potato, I would just call it that!
First, layer half of the potatoes, followed by all of the chicken in the pan.
Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper, half of the bacon and green onions and 1/2 cup cheese.
Finally, spread out the remaining potatoes, bacon, green onions, salt and pepper and another 1/2 cup cheese. Drizzle with heavy cream and dot with the butter (not pictured).
Bake for 1 1/2 hours (1 hour covered, 1/2 hour uncovered) and melt the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.
3 - 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and diced
(about 1.5 lbs. or 4 1/2 cups)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, cooled and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced (green parts only for low-FODMAP/low-fructose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" baking pan or casserole dish.
- Spread half of the diced potatoes in bottom of pan. Place the diced chicken breasts evenly on top. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half the bacon crumbles, 1/2 cup of the cheese, and half the green onions.
- Spread the remaining diced potatoes on top, followed by the remaining bacon, another 1/2 cup cheese, remaining green onions and another 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Pour heavy cream over top of casserole and then dot with the butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and bake until melted. Serve.
Monday, May 6, 2013
It's no secret I love fish and seafood. I would be a pescetarian if it wasn't for my love of steak....and chicken.....and bacon. OK, I love all meat. I'm an omnivore! So back to the seafood. This tilapia recipe is one that I've been making a lot of lately. It's cheap, easy and delicious. To get a garlic flavor without the fructans, I simmer a whole clove of garlic in the butter until fragrant and then remove. If you are extra sensitive to garlic, you can skip it all together. Or if you can tolerate a little garlic, just mince it up and keep it in.
|ready for the oven|
As for the capers....I don't really know what capers are. They look like little peas, but they aren't peas. According to About.com, they are the flower buds of a Mediterranean plant, which are dried in the sun, then pickled in vinegar or brine. I think they add a wonderful burst of flavor to seafood dishes and I seem to tolerate them fairly well. Of course, it could be because most recipes only call for a couple of tablespoons, which per serving is a very small amount. I couldn't really find much information about capers in relation to IBS or fructose malabsorption, so all I can tell you is that they work for me in small amounts, such as this recipe. I hope they work for you too and that you enjoy this quick, easy and low-FODMAP recipe!
1 lb. tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, smashed, but kept whole
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13" x 9" baking pan.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the smashed garlic clove and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 second to 1 minute, just until fragrant. Remove garlic clove and discard. Stir in lemon juice.
- Place tilapia fillets in prepared pan. Pour lemon-butter sauce over top. Sprinkle with capers, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Happy Shrimp Scampi Day! Yes, there really is such a thing. My husband read it in the paper yesterday and I remembered that I hadn't shared this recipe yet. The perfect day to do so! I love shrimp. Since I found "easy-peel" shrimp, I make it quite frequently. I was very excited to find a recipe from allrecipes.com for a Shrimp Scampi Bake. I love baking anything. You just mix up some stuff and stick it in the oven. Dinner - done.
This recipe was just dying for a healthier and low-FODMAP makeover. I cut the butter in half and added some dry white wine. Simmer the garlic in butter first to give it the garlic flavor without the fructans. I can usually tolerate a little garlic if I've eaten low-FODMAP during the day, so my photos do show some minced garlic. You can do whatever you can tolerate, including even leaving the garlic out if desired. I served it over bionaturae gluten-free spaghetti (you could also used Tinkyada white rice spaghetti or just rice), with a side salad and a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese. The perfect dinner.
Low-FODMAP Shrimp Scampi Bake
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and bring to a simmer. Simmer until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove garlic and discard.
- Add the white wine, parsley, lemon juice, Dijon, salt and pepper to the butter and stir.
- Place shrimp in an 8"x 8" baking dish. Pour butter mixture over top.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Sorry I haven't written a new blog post in a while. We've been so busy traveling and working. And now spring is here and I couldn't be happier about it. This has been the worst winter in Minnesota and I barely survived. Today is the first time we've reached 60 degrees this year and it's supposed to get in the 70's this weekend! Time to get out the patio furniture and soak up some vitamin D.
This is a recipe I've been working on all winter and I finally got it pinned down. Quinoa and cheese are excellent together. Throw in some vitamin-rich spinach, and you've got a tasty and healthy side dish. I like to use Colby-Jack cheese, but any variety, such as cheddar or Parmesan will work too. Hard cheeses are naturally low-FODMAP (having little to no lactose) and you can use lactose-free or non-dairy milk. This dish is also very low-fructose and perfect for people with fructose malabsorption. I like to serve this with fish (such as Baked Salmon).
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon Garlic Infused Oil or olive oil
2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup lactose-free or non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I like to use Colby-Jack)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and saute just until spinach is wilted, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Stir the sauteed spinach into the cooked quinoa. Whisk together the milk, egg, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add milk mixture and 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the quinoa and stir well.
- Transfer to a lightly greased 1.5 quart casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until melted, about 5 more minutes. Serve.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
So here's the thing with bananas: If they are unripe they have fructans (according to IBS-Free at Last!). As the bananas ripen, the starches (aka fructans) are converted to sugars. A ripe banana has about equal amounts fructose and glucose, so they are tolerable to some people with FM and IBS in small amounts. (See this Livestrong article for more detailed information). The glucose gives the fructose a "free ride," so to speak, across the small intestine wall.
If you are able to tolerate a small amount of banana like me, you should be able to tolerate this banana bread. It is sweetened with powdered dextrose and made with white rice flour and starches. Banana bread happens to be one of my most favorite treats. When I was in high school I would come home from school and find that my mom had made a loaf during the day. I'd cozy up with a magazine, a cup of hot cocoa and a slice of fresh banana bread for my after-school wind-down. Great memories. I'm glad I finally came up with a recipe good enough to share!
Low-FODMAP Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf
2 ripe bananas
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup powdered dextrose
2/3 cup white rice flour
3 tablespoons potato starch
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a 4"x 8" loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the dextrose, rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, cinnamon, baking powder, soda and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and blend well.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
- Cool and slice.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I've had this recipe idea on my mind for a long time and I finally got around to making it. Since figuring out how to make my own garlic oil, I thought it would be the perfect time to try it out with this recipe. This recipe is low-FODMAP and low-fructose. Chicken breast are seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs, then sauteed in garlic infused oil. Then a quick lemon sauce is prepared in which the chicken simmers. It's the perfect dish to throw together for a week-night meal.
If you don't have any garlic oil or cannot tolerate it, you can use plain olive oil or butter. I served this over white rice spaghetti from Tinkyada. It would also be delicious served over rice or quinoa. A quick spinach side salad rounds out the meal. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon Italian herb blend season
(such as McCormick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Garlic and/or Onion Infused Oil or olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 1 tablespoon juice)
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
- Place chicken breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound to an even thickness using a mallet. Season both sides of chicken with Italian herbs, salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove skillet from heat and place chicken on a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Deglaze pan with wine, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Return skillet to medium-low heat and simmer wine until reduced slightly.
- Whisk together the chicken broth and cornstarch and add to skillet. Stir in the lemon juice and bring back to a simmer. Put chicken breasts back in skillet and place lemon slices on top of each one. Cover skillet and continue to cook until chicken breasts are no longer pick in the middle or have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Serve chicken and sauce over rice or noodles.