Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bonus Tip of the Day

Fresh broccoli and I have worked out an uneasy truce.  I cut off as much of the stems as possible, put it in a collander, cover with a towel, and put the package over a pot of boiling water until the florets are a vibrant green.   Then it's over and we don't have to look at eachother again until next time.

The problem is that you are left with a ton of stems.  If you steam them, they cook at a different speed and the broccoli is cooked unevenly.  And they're not nearly as appealing as the florets - people will just leave them on their plate, or they'll politely force themselves to eat them.  You could opt for the frozen "florets only", but I've found a better way.  All you have to do is take your peeler, remove the outer layer of skin, and cut the stems into bite-sized pieces.  The pieces steam up about as quickly as the florets and to me, they taste better. 

Serve up with some garlic-infused olive oil, cheese food product or butter, salt and pepper.  Non-patients can put lemon or other forbidden toppings on their portions.  Life is pretty good.

Tip of the Day

If you're like me, the migraine diet can thrust you into a meat-starch-sauce pattern.  For me, the starches tend to be rice, pasta and potatoes.  I can do rice a dozen ways with different spices, stocks and add-ins, but it's still rice.  I rotate pasta between spaghetti, angel hair, penne, linguine, fettucini, orzo and lasagna noodles, but it's always pasta.  I serve potatoes mashed, baked, hash-browned and latke'ed, but. . . you know. 

Here's the latest thing I've discovered that's quick, simple and really different:  gnocchi.  Gnocchi is a potato dumpling used in Italian cooking.  Although there are many migraine-friendly recipes on the web, and many more that cheat just a little, the lightbulb really came on when I stumbled upon pre-made gnocchi ("gnocchi's?") at Trader Joe's.  I'm not a big fan of Trader Joe's because of the preponderance of products with added soy, but when I picked up this bag, I found nothing bad in the ingredients list.  All you do is drop the things in boiling water and when they float, wait for 2-3 minutes and remove.  Throw on virtually any sauce and/or cheese that you can tolerate and enjoy.

The only tricky thing is, I have no good point of reference.  Although my wife is Italian, and her grandmother made gnocchi from scratch, she remembers it as being pasta, not dumplings.  So, the only way we do is to taste samples immediately when the boiling hits that two minute mark, and remove when the texture is most appealing.  The family was pleased, so I call it a success.  Hopefully yours will be too.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Break Time!

I apologize in advance if this sounds like gloating.  It's time for a break from all these dietary restrictions and be bad as we want to be.  Jean's going out of town for a rare five day stint.  We can stuff the refrigerator with everything bad and hunt for recipes that we have missed for these last four years.

Some ingredients we are looking forward to having:
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Sour Cream
  • Guacamole
  • Worcester sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Chorizo
  • Andouille
  • Smoked sausage
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Bananas
  • Remoulade
Strangely, we have become so fond of our usual migraine recipes that we aren't looking at too many new recipes - maybe pasta carbonara, but that's about it.  If you have any good ideas for our reprieve (we like Italian, Mexican and Cajun a lot, as you can tell), please do tell.  Hopefully, you can get some vicarious enjoyment from helping us out.!