Roasted Ratatouille (LID)

Roasted Ratatouille

Onions, squash, and Japanese eggplant were just a few of the vegetables I got in my CSA box this week. They were delicious when combined with bell pepper and tomato, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then roasted. There is no denying that this combination of veggies is a winner. It’s comfort food and perfect for LID.

This recipe can easily be doubled. Use a second baking sheet to avoid overcrowding the veggies.

When dicing the vegetables, try to keep all the pieces about the same size so they will cook evenly.

This recipe makes about 2 side dish-sized servings.

Roasted Ratatouille

1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 bell pepper (your choice of color), cored and diced
1 Japanese eggplant, diced (no need to peel)
1 tomato, diced (or a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Toss the diced veggies with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet.

Roasted Ratatouille 2

Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until well-browned, turning half way through cooking.

Roasted Ratatouille 3

Serve warm.

Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Chili with Mushrooms and Kale (LID)

Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Chili with Mushrooms and Kale

This is a little something I cooked up this past winter. With this chili, I set out to make one thing and ended up with something totally different. That is not necessarily a bad thing. I ended up with a nutritious and hearty vegan chili that tasted great and is suitable for LID. I was happy with the results.

Just a little note about chili powder, most contain salt. Most likely, it’s non-iodized salt, but to be safe choose a chili powder that does not contain salt. I get mine from Penzey’s.

Crockpot Black Bean and Barley Chili with Mushrooms and Kale

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 14.5 ounce can unsalted black beans, drained
1/2 cup barley
4 cups unsalted vegetable broth (I used 4 cups water and Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon cubes)
2 tablespoons chili powder (check ingredients, I use Penzey’s brand)
1 teaspoon cumin
kosher salt and pepper, to taste (I used 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)
4 cups kale, chopped

Add all the ingredients to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

Add all the ingredients to the crockpot. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high 3 to 4 hours.

Ribollita (Italian Vegetable Soup with Bread) (LID)

Ribollita (LID)

This is one of my favorite soups and it’s perfect for LID. If you can’t find an Italian style bread that is safe for LID, this soup is also good with a little pasta (like ditalini, pastina, or acini di pepe) added around the same time as the zucchini.

I’m pretty sure cannellini beans are safe on LID, but you may substitute chickpeas in the recipe if you are concerned.

This recipes makes a lot of soup, so you will have plenty of leftovers. It’s great to have on hand for a quick lunch or as a nutritious and filling start of a meal. It keeps for a week in the fridge and freezes well. You could make a batch ahead of LID and freeze in individual portions.

Ribollita (Italian Vegetable Soup with Bread)

1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 – 10 cups vegetable broth (I use water and Rapunzel salt free vegetable bouillon)
1 14.5 can of no salt added diced tomatoes & their juices
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced (I use Russet)
1 15.5 ounce can no salt added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 head green cabbage (or savoy), cored and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 zucchini, diced
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Italian bread, sliced

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

Add the broth, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, cabbage, thyme, and basil to the soup pot. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until the zucchini is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

To serve, place a slice of Italian bread in a bowl and ladle soup over bread.

Carrot Hummus (LID)

Carrot Hummus

I let my 5 year old pull the remainder of the carrots in the garden to make room for something else. I decided to use them to make carrot hummus. My carrots were lighter orange than the ones you typically find in a grocery store. My hummus is not as vibrant of an orange color as I assume using more deeply colored carrots would produce.  No matter, the overall result is a tasty variation of hummus and would be a colorful addition to any table of food.

Carrots

I adapted this recipe from one found in the April 2015 issue of Cooking Light. This issue has 7 variations of hummus and they all look interesting.

Carrot Hummus

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 15.5 ounce can no salt added chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
shredded carrots
sliced almonds (optional)
paprika

Place the chopped carrots in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until the carrots are very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Save the water to add to the hummus.

In a food processor, add the chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, kosher salt, cumin, and cooked carrots. Add about 3 tablespoons of the water the carrots cooked in and process, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time, until smooth. This may take up to 5 minutes. Spread carrot hummus in the serving dish and top with shredded carrots and sliced almonds (if using). Sprinkle with paprika.

This.

thyroid cancer ribbon

I don’t normally read, much less post, things from foxnews, but these words about being a cancer survivor could easily be my own.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/04/22/what-do-120-cancer-survivors-have-in-common/

Balsamic Vinaigrette (LID)

Balsamic Vinaigrette

This is a super simple Balsamic Vinaigrette recipe. I really like it on mixed greens (like a Spring Mix).  You can elaborate on this dressing, if you wish. Sometimes I’ll add finely minced garlic and/or a dried Italian herb mix.

Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 ounces balsamic vinegar
2 ounces olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine all the ingredients in a small Mason jar with a lid. Screw on the lid and shake until combined. Store leftover dressing in the refrigerator. Allow to sit out at room temperature a little bit before using again.

The Results Are In

Never Be Ashamed of a Scar

It’d been a week since my whole body scan and I still hadn’t heard from my oncologist. My stomach had been in knots all week.

I finally mustered up the courage to call my cancer center and asked about my results. I left a message and someone actually called me back in less than 3 hours. The lady (not my doctor, physician’s assistant, or nurse) read the report to me.

The report read that there was no visible thyroid. There was uptake in the salivary glands, liver, and GI tract, all which are considered to be normal. There was “no abnormal distribution!” I asked her if the lymph nodes were clear and she repeated that the report stated that there was “no abnormal distribution.” This is good. This is very good.

Easy White Bread (LID)

Easy White Bread (LID)

It’s my last full day of LID. Yay! I’m so happy about getting off this diet that I’m not even worrying about my whole body scan tomorrow morning. I have more important things on my mind. Like, where am I going to eat lunch after my scan?

I think the last 4 or 5 days of LID are the hardest. You are tired and probably not feeling that great after the Thyrogen shots (even worse if you’ve been off your meds for 6 weeks). And then there is the RAI. It’s stressful. The extra thought and work the diet takes is just another thing. I don’t need another thing. I’m done.

This bread is great because it is delicious and really easy. I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s great for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which is what I had for dinner tonight). This recipe doesn’t make a very big loaf. I haven’t tried doubling the recipe, but I don’t see why you couldn’t.

Easy White Bread

Easy White Bread

3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Put the ingredients into a bread machine in the order given. The yeast should be the last ingredient going into the bread machine. Set the machine to the dough setting and press start. Let the machine do the mixing and kneading for you. Once the machine is finished. turn the dough out into an oiled bowl. Let the dough rise for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Punch the dough down and turn out on a floured surface. Shape the dough into a loaf. Place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 35 or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

If you do not have a bread machine, just mix the ingredients together by hand. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary. Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl and let rise 1 hour. Bake at 350°F. for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.

LID Round 2, Day 15

I did not sleep well last night. I kept waking up to check on my son. My 5 year old came home from school not feeling well yesterday and by the time we went to bed his fever was 102.3 degrees. It was a long night. He didn’t go to school today, so my husband had to stay home to take care of him. I got my tracer dose of radioactive iodine this morning and I couldn’t snuggle my sweet boy or kiss his forehead. It was hard. He seems to be feeling better now. Hopefully he will be able to return to school tomorrow.

Everything went fine with taking my tracer dose of RAI. I’ll go back to the hospital on Friday for my scan.

About an hour after I got back from the hospital after taking my RAI, my husband stated that he was feeling tired (this is a very common thing…he’s always tired). I told him he needed a check-up and then he said that I was probably irradiating him. He was not joking. Seriously!

The good news is that I only have one more full day on LID! I can go off the diet as soon as my scan is done Friday morning.

Spaghetti and Salad

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Water (I couldn’t eat or drink anything but water 2 hours before and 2 hours after taking my pill)
LunchCrockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup and Baked Chicken Taquitos with Avocado “Cream” and Salsa
Dinner:  Spaghetti with LID Spaghetti Sauce and Spring Mix Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

LID Round 2, Day 14

Second Thyrogen shot down. I get my tracer dose of RAI tomorrow.

My son wasn’t feeling well when I picked him up from school and by the time I got him to bed his fever was just above 102 degrees. Since he wasn’t feeling well, he was clingy and so I had to do something really quick for dinner.

For breakfast, I grabbed a couple of the Baked Veggie Egg White Cups. They really are delicious, especially with some Texas Pete hot sauce.

Baked Veggie Egg White Cups

For lunch, I had Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup. My husband especially liked it.

Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup

For dinner, I had breakfast. Scrambled egg whites with hashbrowns (and Hunt’s No Salt ketchup).

Scrambled Egg Whites and Hashbrowns

What I ate today:
Breakfast: Baked Veggie Egg White Cups and coffee with non-dairy creamer
Lunch: Crockpot Beef and Barley Soup
Dinner: Scrambled egg whites and hashbrowns

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