Archive for May, 2014


Salad Anyone???

Salad Anyone???

My first trip back to the farm since my heart attack yielded more than calmness and tranquility. It yielded these lovely salad greens…iceberg lettuce, leaf lettuce, romaine, red romaine and leeks. I know my doctor would be very happy that I will be partaking in greens rather than cholesterol-laden food. Problem is…how do I stay away from the lovely, tasty, fatty dressings??? Another problem to be reckoned with!!!

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Better-Late-Than-Never Soba

OK, did it again. Messed up my blog and didn’t have the photo that I tried so hard to load. Well, here it is and as you can see this soup looks great. (Recipe under Soba Bowl published today). It does taste great. All vegetables are just right…not too soft or mushy. Flavor is excellent and not too salty. I did add salt to the noodles though the instructions said it wasn’t needed.
Summer is close at hand. Meals should start to be lighter and made with all the fresh ingredients from the farm. But wait…I wasn’t at the farm!!! Note to self: go to farm and collect fresh ingredients for new healthy lifestyle!!!

Thanks, My Panera, for this great recipe. It is full of really healthy things…really tasty things…and really attractive things that make a very satisfying bowl of deliciousness.

Soba Bowl

4 oz. soba noodles – cooked until tender, about 6-8 minutes
1 1/2 qt. chicken broth
12 oz. chicken breast – sliced to thin strips
2 small carrots – cleaned and sliced on a diagonal
8 oz. bok choy – trimmed and sliced into thin strips
5 oz. mushrooms – cleaned and sliced thin
4 oz. snap peas – sliced on diagonal
2 scallions – cleaned and sliced on diagonal
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. cilantro – chopped
Sriracha – optional

Do you get where we are going here??? Everything is cleaned and prepped even before the broth goes on the stove. Now all you have to do is add!!!

Heat broth to a boil. Add chicken and carrots. Reduce to simmer and poach about 5 minutes until chicken no longer pink. Stir in bok choy, mushrooms, peas, scallions and soy sauce. Cook for 5 minutes on low. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, covered. Divide the noodles into soup bowls. Pour chicken mixture evenly over noodles. Top with cilantro and a splash of Sriracha. Enjoy!!! You might want to try eating this with chop sticks or a fork then drinking down the liquid. It tastes good either way!!!

Wonderful Canning

Wonderful Canning

OMG!!! Look what I found!!! Another great canning mag from Better Homes and Gardens. Loads of pictures and great ideas. I am so excited as there is every way imaginable in this magazine to preserve food. Now…all I have to do is get better enough to go to the farm and gather all I need for these projects. If you see it, be sure to pick it up and look through it. I guarantee, you won’t put it down!!!

Best Ever Scones

Best Ever Scones

Thank you, My Favourite Pastime, for this great recipe. Baked up in just a few minutes. Smells great. I’m sure will taste great, too, with a little coffee. Used egg to brush them before baking and don’t they look wonderful??? I can hardly wait!!!

Here’s the recipe:
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
pinch salt
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. raisins
1 egg, beaten
1/2 c. milk
egg for glazing

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add butter and rub into flour. My butter was very soft so this was easy. Stir in the sugar and raisins. Mix egg into milk. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet, stirring only to combine. Turn out onto floured board and press into a disk about 1″ thick. Cut into 6 wedges. Place on parchment lined sheet (I usually maintain the disk with wedges about 3/4″ apart). Brush with egg. Bake at 425 degrees F for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and hot baking sheet by grabbing parchment paper and pulling scones off to a cold baking sheet. OK to eat warm if you can’t stand to wait like me!!!

Asparagus Potato Soup - in process of being evaluated for the low-fat, low-cal, low-salt version

Same old story…had something in the fridge that had to be used. Looked up a lot of recipes and found this one for Asparagus Soup. Thanks, Food.com, for this great recipe. It is easy and a good place to start my recipe re-invention. Yes, I had a heart attack and now will be re-evaluating all recipes for fat, calories, cholesterol and sodium. While I didn’t have a typical heart attack that involves blood clots or occluded arteries, I did have a cardiac event which reminded me of the importance of diet, exercise and a calm nature.

ASPARAGUS POTATO SOUP

4 t. oil (try not to use saturated or trans fats; try PAM Cooking Spray)
1 onion, chopped
3 T. flour
2 c. asparagus, chopped
2 c. milk (try using non-fat or 2% fat milk)
1 14 oz. can chicken broth (try using low fat, low salt version)
1 large red potato, diced
1/4 t. salt (try using salt substitute or Mrs. Dash)
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
4 oz. cheddar cheese (try using reduced fat cheese)
Dash of Sriracha

Saute onion in oil until tender. Sprinkle flour on top. Stir well to coat and cook flour. Add milk, broth, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add asparagus and potato. Cover and simmer 10 minutes until tender. Use a stick blender to smooth out some of the veg.

Add cheese and stir to melt. Put a few drops Sriracha on top for additional flavor.

Make mine medium well...no medium rare...no well done.

A good time was had by all. We went to Black Rock for steak (they give you a piece of stone that is heated to over 700 degrees). Everyone cooks their own steak on the stone. Sides were very good. Atmosphere was good too. We all agreed that the smaller steak was big enough and everyone came away very satisfied. The bill was moderate. I can dig it!!!

HEART ATTACK DIARY!!!

I had more headaches than usual,   I always took aspirin for these.  I was under too much stress…doing too much for others…taking on too many problems…always wanting to help.   I had pain across the back of my shoulders for years especially when I was stressed out.  A muscle relaxant helped that after I did some range of motion for a few minutes.  So, it couldn’t really be anything serious, right???  Did I think anything of the pain in my jaw for years???   No because I had a history of lots of dental work to justify that.  And just recently, I had a lump in my throat that seemed to be connected to stress and it felt so tight and uncomfortable.

 

What I did not have was chest pain, sweating or shortness of breath.  Those are the usual heart attack symptoms, right???  So I couldn’t be having a heart attack!!!

 

What’s it like to have a heart attack???   I don’t know!!!   I didn’t think I was having one.  They say a woman’s symptoms are different.   How true!!!   I felt nauseated for a couple of days.   Many people at that time were having the same flu-like symptoms so…thought nothing of it.   I felt generally bad.  Couldn’t get comfortable at night.   Wasn’t sleeping at all.  Tossed and turned.

 

Ate something Sunday evening that resulted in my stomach being upset. Really wanted to get that out and finally did but couldn’t quit.  I got violently ill (I was sure I had Botulism but checked the symptoms for that and they didn’t fit).    With Botulism I should have had a fever, tender abdomen and loose stools.  I had none of that so eliminated the diagnosis.  Yes, nurses do self-diagnose!!!   Just about the time I was contemplating a hospital visit, I did get the loose stools.  Then, what does any self-respecting woman think???   Can’t go until that is under control, right???

 

So, a moment of control finally came…headed to the ER…and was diagnosed with a heart attack after the cardiac cath.   Who would ever think…me with a heart attack.  I eat well (the lab work showed that).  I’m not overweight (the scale showed that).   I don’t have other serious health problems (the history showed that). 

 

I came away from this whole experience with a really good understanding of how some of us relate to our bodies.   We don’t want to think the worse.  We want to believe in ourselves.   We don’t have time to get sick or take time off from our very important lifestyles. 

 

But I can see that sometimes we need to stop, step back, take a deep breath and relax. Let life go on for awhile without our total control. Be an observer and appreciate what we see. We do want to be here tomorrow, right??? OK then…I’ll put on my big-girl pants and follow the rules, follow the diet, follow the exercise regimen (even though I won’t like it) and try not to sulk too much because my little world has been interrupted by this horrible calamity.

Savory Oven Roasted Potatoes

Thanks, alifemoment, for this great recipe!!! It is easy to make. It tastes great. It is just what I needed today. I have included my version of the recipe which I’ll bet is just like hers.

SAVORY OVEN ROASTED POTATOES

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment. In a plastic bag, mix 2 T. olive oil, 1 T. vinegar, 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped, 1/2 t. each pepper, salt, rosemary, oregano and smoked paprika. Set aside. Cut up 2-3 medium potatoes after peeling. Put in bag and toss with the oil/vinegar and seasoning mixture. Pour onto parchment. Spread out over sheet. Bake approximately 45-60 minutes, testing for doneness with a sharp knife. Serve hot.

No  crunchy bottoms here!!!

I know what you are thinking!!! She made another biscuit!!! Yes, because I don’t think I ever mentioned that the biscuits MUST be removed from the hot baking sheet when done so the bottoms don’t get “crunchy.” These will be smooth and soft all over. Too bad you aren’t here to share. These are a lovely, soft, tasty buttermilk biscuit that I can freeze and enjoy over a week or two. You’re not here!!! More for me!!!

BUTTERMILK BISCUITS

2 c. flour
1 T. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. buttermilk (may need a little more due to the thickness of the buttermilk)

Oven 450 degrees F.
Mix the dry ingredients well. Cut in the shortening until it resembles crumbs. Add milk and stir only until combined. Knead a couple of times with you hands. Put on floured board and press down until 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (I like mine thicker). Cut out as desired. Place on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment lined sheet. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Now the important part is to remove from the oven and remove from the baking sheet either onto a rack or glass stovetop. Serve warm.