Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ingredient of the Day

If you're like me, you don't always have time, energy or motivation to cook a masterpiece every night.  If you're REALLY like me, you don't have the talent either.  :)  So, I've done a lot of simple, short-cut dishes.  I have discovered a new staple that brings a new texture and a lot of convenience to the party - canned potatoes.  I've tried a couple of the store brands.  They come in several shapes and varieties (skin off, skin on, . .  ).  The ingredients are typically just potatoes, salt and water - what could be safer for a migraine sufferer?.  Just keep a few things in mind and you can make a lot of your stand-by dishes new again:

1.  Rinse before you start to get some of the salt off.
2.  Consider something with lots of sauce like a stew or casserole.  That will help to hide some of the "can"
3.  Be sure to let the potatoes cook a bit, at least 20 minutes.  This will hide even more of the "can".
4.  Taste before you add more salt.
5.  One approach that works well is cooking the potatoes in stock to add some flavor, and thickening at the end with corn starch.

It's not sexy, it's not fancy.  However, it adds some options to your "quick and easy" options.  To me, that's more than worth a blog entry.  If you want to share any similar staple ideas, please feel free!

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Inspirations

My latest inspiration has come from taking vegetarian products and adding meat.  OK, that seems kind of odd, but vegetarian processed foods are sometimes pretty safe for migraine patients.  I started with Imagine Creamy Squash Soup.  I like squash because it blends well with Indian spices like garam massala, cumin, coriander, etc.  This kind of soup may be problematic because of the onion content, but it's worth a try.  I like to season some chicken with garam massala and ginger, cook the soup and thicken with corn starch, and balance the sweetness with some salt and Tabasco.  Then I throw in some vegetables like spinach, peas and carrots.  Serve that over some rice (maybe with some salt, tumeric and Better than Boullion) and you have something light and very tasty.

This is only the starting point.  Imagine also makes a sweet potato soup with no onions.  Sweet potatoes are an important ingredient in many African dishes.  Again, this could be thickened and used for a sauce.  Or if you need something even simpler for your migraine or migraine patient, look at some purees.  Or even make your own, and you'll have total control over your ingredients.

I'm not going to lie and say it's easy to find a "silver bullet" ingredient that no one else has thought of, but it is really gratifying when you do.  Happy hunting and don't forget to share!