Peach and Blueberry Crumble (LID)

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Fruit crumbles are perfect desserts for LID. They can be made with a variety of fruits. I love the combination of peaches and blueberries.

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

4 peaches
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons coconut oil (can substitute canola oil)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice or chop the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Add the blueberries to the peaches and sprinkle with the sugar (you can skip the sugar or adjust the amount to suit your taste) and gently stir to combine.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. Work the coconut oil into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baba Ganoush (LID)

Baba Ganoush

I’ve gotten sooo many eggplants in my CSA boxes over the past several weeks. I’ve been struggling with ways to prepare them. After hearing about my eggplant dilemma, my friend, Donna, directed me to this recipe for Baba Ganoush. I am a big fan of Mediterranean food, but surprisingly, had never had Baba Ganoush. I simplified the recipe a bit and it turned out well. It’s great as a spread or as a dip. I ate it with sweet mini peppers. Yum yum.

Tahini is essential for this recipe. I used Whole Food’s 365 brand tahini. It contains salt, but doesn’t appear to be iodized. From my research, I have concluded that in the United States iodized salt must be labeled as such and that if “salt” is listed in the ingredients list, it’s just plain salt. If you are unsure, you can always call the manufacturer. The phone number is usually on the product. Every product that I have called about has not contained iodized salt and several reps told me that iodized salt must be labeled as such. It is a topic I definitely want to continue to research and find a source (a written law, perhaps) that states how salt must be listed. It’s on my to-do list.

Baba Ganoush

1 large Italian eggplant
1/4 tahini (check labels for salt)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
pinch ground cumin
kosher salt, to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Using a fork, pierce the eggplants all over. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 1 hour, turning half-way through cooking. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Cut off the ends of the eggplants and discard. Peel off the skin. Use a spoon to scrape off any flesh left on the backside of the peel. Place the eggplant flesh in a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant.

Add the 1/4 cup tahini, garlic, 1/4 cup lemon juice, and cumin and mix well. Season with kosher salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.

Spread into a serving dish and drizzle with the olive oil. Serve with pita bread.

Avocado “Cream” (LID)

Avocado "Cream"

Avocado “Cream” is a great way to get the creaminess and lushious fat that normally come from dairy (cheese, cream, sour cream, etc…) while on LID. It freezes well, so buy avocados when you find them on sale and freeze some Avocado “Cream” in individual portions. Use in place of sour cream while on LID.  It goes well with the taquitos and as a dip for Fritos.

Avocado “Cream”

avocados
fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon per avocado)
kosher salt

Cut the avocado(s) in half lengthwise. Remove the seed and scoop the flesh out of the skin with a spoon. Place the avocado flesh In a small food processor and blend with fresh lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon per avocado) and kosher salt (to taste) until smooth.

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.

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