Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pesto Shrimp

Here is an old Candida safe dinner I had a while back. And per usual, it was easy and ready very quickly. Just cook up some shrimp in a basil or cilantro pesto with a little garlic in a sauce pan on medium heat. Add a whole wheat tortilla on the side for good measure and then sit there and feel really proud of yourself for the culinary expertise you have just tackled.

What pesto recipes do you have?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Basil Shrimp and Rice

First Candida safe dinner. Brown rice with basil and shrimp. Now this dish was pretty simple (which is kind of a theme for me). Cook up some rice, toss in some fresh basil and throw in the already cooked shrimp from the grocery store....I feel totally lazy. For the record, they only had two kinds of shrimp; the cooked ones and then uncooked ones that had weird little leg things. Ugh! I hate cooking with of these days I may get used to it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Candida Breakfast: The E & E

It is that time again. Time to put away the foods that I love so dearly and get my gut to a good place. I am going back on the Candida Diet. Jeff and I are taking a trip to California in three weeks and I would like to actually enjoy the trip and not be sick or doubled over in pain the whole time. My lack of discipline has resulted in the Candidas reforming their battle fronts and reeking havoc on my body. So here it goes! Three weeks of healthy eats.

The easiest change you can make to your diet to start to combat Candida is The E & E (Egg and Ezekiel bread) in the morning for breakfast. Ezekiel bread is a brand of spelt bread, but any spelt or whole grain bread will do that does not contain yeast or sugar. So the instructions are really pretty easy...toast the bread, cook up an egg and there you have it; a quick and easy way to be nice to your tummy.

So you start with an egg...
And then you cook it and put it on the bread. Simple! Now try and tell me that the Candida diet is too hard ;)
There are many more posts to come in the following weeks with fresh Candida diet ideas.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Restaurant Review: Snooze

I LOVE BREAKFAST! There, I got that out. Breakfast is my favorite food and I am guilty of going out to way too many breakfasts on weekend mornings. I had been dying to try Snooze, the best rated breakfast place in Denver. Jeff's parents were in the area for the morning so we all went out to get some A.M. food. Since this place is so awesome...there is ALWAYS a wait. So get there early and make sure you aren't too hungry.

Jeff and I shared this creative pancake, "Machu Picchu Pancakes Quinoa and cornmeal pancakes with fresh blueberries, sunflower seeds, agave nectar drizzle and whipped butter. Naturally Gluten Free… the Incas were on to something." Healthy pancake? That just might be a reality....okay, maybe minus the butter.

"Corned Beef Hash Snooze’s signature shredded hash mixed with locally made corned beef, caramelized poblanos and onions. Topped with two eggs your style & toast or tortillas.Irish breakfast anyone?

Ever feel that vegetarian food is always a little small? Not here.... "Snooze Breakfast Burrito Filled with scrambled eggs, hash browns, veggie black beans, cheddar & jack cheese, topped with salsa fresca and your choice of green chili or ranchero!

And finally a picture that will always  make my mouth water. I ordered Egg's Benedict as always. This Benedict was far from normal though and I thank the chefs for their ingenuity...."Bella Benny Thin slices of prosciutto, brie cheese, and perfectly poached eggs on our house made English muffin, topped with cream cheese hollandaise, balsamic glaze and arugula. Viva la Benny!"

Okay, here is one more picture because I am OBSESSED! Excellent benny.
Even though the wait is sometimes long enough to make you want to chew your own arm off, it is worth it. The cute morning/old time diner decor welcomes you into a place where you will want to order everything on the menu.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Guest Recipes!

Happy Friday!
Jeff and I are off to the Rockies game tonight, do I dare blog game food? Coors Field does have a gluten-free stand...

Fruit Pizza - I love the cream cheese 'sauce'. Be creative with your fruit toppings... blueberries anyone?

Fruit Pizza
• 1 cup flour
• ½ cup pecans
• ½ cup ????
• 1 – 8oz cream cheese
• 1 Tbsp. milk
• ¼ cup sugar
Spread crust in pan, bake at 350°F for 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Spread topping on crust. Top with strawberries, bananas, pineapple etc.
• ½ sugar
• ¼ cup water
• ¼ cup real lemon
• ½ cup orange juice
• 2 Tbsp. corn starch
Cook, stir, and pour over pizza warm.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Colorado Cookin'

After a lovely trip to the farmer's market with my friends Amanda and Sarah, I was prepared with the necessary items to make an all local, Colorado meal for Jeff and I. It is so exciting when you get to cook a meal that you know was grown and raised right in your backyard....or, I guess, someones backyard in Colorado. Eating local not only supports local communities but also does a little something for the environment.  Yea for little somethings for the environment!

The Peaches: So these peaches were amazing! I was trying my best to keep costs low so I tried to walk past the peaches and ignore them. It was futile! Who can ignore soft little balls of summer. If you haven't tried it, trust me....local. organic, in season peaches are way better than middle of February from who knows where. I mean look at them! Definitely the center-fold of fruits.

The Steak: So I talked with the guy selling this meat a little and he assured me that his farm was happy little cows eating grass and chillin. Although I still feel a tinge of sadness for the little big guy...I gotta eat and the beef was calling my name. Jeff made a coffee and cayenne rub to top off this steak.  With Jeff and my terrible coal lighting skills we were forced into using a skillet on the stove but it tasted wonderful anyway.

The Corn: MMMHMMM, I smothered these little guys in butter, salt and pepper and baked them. The corn husks held the flavor in and they turned out wonderful.

The Wine: Grapes can grow in Colorado? Why yes they can. Not only was the wine fabulous...but the label was a cute little tree. Win-win situation. Most of their grapes are shipped and then made into wine here in Colorado, but the Cabernet shown below uses grapes grown in Colorado. The Blue Mountain Vineyard's website is here.

We also had organic, steamed green beans and some crazy pumpkin sourdough bread from Udi's (toasted with butter of course). Udi's is a Denver bread company that has a large line of Gluten-free bread. Their GF breads as well as the normal stuff all tastes pretty delish.

Colorado...thank you for feeding me!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fontina-Gruyere Basil Gnocchi

This recipe is heaven in my mouth! I went to grocery store and did something that a rarely do...I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a recipe or list, no thoughts or convictions....just a shopping bag and my credit card. I did have a strong desire to use cheese...and boy did I ever. I created a masterpiece: Fontina-Gruyere Basil Gnocchi.

I am not sure on exact amounts but I will do my best to instruct you....

Fontina-Gruyere Basil Gnocchi (Heaven in my mouth)
-A package (or two) or Gnocchi - The kind I got only requires that you boil it for 3 minutes
-1/2 block shredded Fontina Cheese (in the fancy cheese area)
-1/2 block shredded Gruyere Cheese (in the fancy cheese area)
-Corn starch or flour
-Fresh basil leaves

Melt about 1/4 of a stick of butter in a sauce pan. Once melted add a few hefty splashes of milk. Coat the mixed shredded cheeses with corn starch by tossing it in a bowl. The cheese should have a light dusting. Slowly add the cheese into the butter and milk mixture until melted on low-medium heat. Pour over the cooked Gnocchi and top with fresh basil leaves.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Enchilada Casserole and Pretzels

Sorry for the posting hiatus! Life has been busy! Mind you, I have still been cooking, eating and taking pictures like it was my job (which I really wish it was) I just haven't gotten around to putting together a few coherent sentences for you.

Now I know that Enchilada Casserole (from my mom) and Pretzels (cousin Jennifer) don't naturally go together, but it tuned out to be a pretty decent meal. I had my friend, Luke, over to be a designated eater so I didn't have to eat the leftovers of this dish for weeks to come.

The pretzels were rather challenging. I am pretty sure that whole wheat flour behaves a little different from white flour. My stab at a healthy alternative turned into pretty dry dough. I am thinking if you use whole-wheat flour, then it is a good idea to add more of the liquids. So I was trying my very best to role out the dough into pretzel size tubes when Luke looks over my shoulder, "Do you want me to do that for you?" I appreciated the help as I needed to tend to the casserole, but I understood the underlying message; Luke was thinking; this really can't be that hard...Jenna just sucks at it. So I said yes and Luke tried his hand at it. It wasn't five minutes later that Luke says, "this is a lot harder than it looks'. Ha! See it isn't just me! So we both bumbled through the rolling of the dough and made some skinny pretzels, fat pretzels and one that looked like a snail. You can get really creative with the pretzels: salted, cinnamon and sugar, parmesan, cheddar, really any topping you want. What would you like best on a pretzel?

The Enchilada Casserole was relatively easy and involved few steps. The grocery store was out of grass-fed beef, so I got grass-fed bison instead. It made for a nice substitutions and it was a very tasty dish. Whats great about the casserole is that is seemed to taste better reheated the next day. To me, that is genius.

• 1 pkg. yeast
• 1 ½ cups warm water
• 1 Tbsp sugar
• 4 cups flour
• 1 egg
• Coarse salt
Mix the yeast, water and sugar and then add flour. Kneed and shape into pretzels. Brush with beaten egg. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake on greased sheet for 12 – 15 minutes at 425°F.

Enchilada Casserole
• 1 ½ lb ground beef
• 1 can cream of chicken soup
• 1 can cream of mushroom soup
• 1 can diced Ortega green chilies
• Picante sauce to taste
• 1 pkg. flour tortillas
• 6 oz Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
Brown beef, drain, add soups, chilis and picante sauce. Place tortillas in 13x9 pan, add ½ mixture, top with cheeses, add another layer of tortillas and repeat as above. Bake at 350°F, 25-30 minutes. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, etc.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jan's Veggie Salad

Finally, a candida safe recipe. I have been slacking pretty bad, haven't I? My mom has been trying her hand at eating candida safe. She is an excellent cook and has the ability to improvise (a skill I am still trying to master). This is a great recipe to bring to gatherings as well. Try this recipe...your body will thank you.

Jan’s Veggie Salad
• 2 medium zucchini
• ½ red onion
• 1 cup carrots, diced
• 3 cup broccoli
• ½ cup orange bell pepper
• ½ cup red bell pepper
• 1 cucumber
• 3 stalks celery
Dice all the vegetables and put in serving bowl. Pour on dressing and mix together. Refrigerate for a least 2 hours.

• ½ cup olive oil
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
• ½ tsp. salt
• ¼ tsp. pepper

Monday, September 13, 2010

Peach Jelly Crisp

Alright, I get it...these are not that fancy or difficult. But my-oh-my if you need an appetizer that is quick and easy and still delicious, look no further. What makes them even better? I used my mom's homemade peach jelly. I know not everyone has that option, but any jelly will do.

Peach Jelly Crisp
-Crackers (any variety, I used Nut Thins)
-Cream Cheese (any variety, Plain allows the jelly flavor to come through)
-Jelly/Jam (Peach, Grape, Hot Pepper, Boysenberry, creative!)
I am sure you need no instructions but I will do it anyway. Put cream cheese on cracker, top with a little jelly.

My mom's favorite way to serve this is to put a block of cream cheese in a dish, drizzle the jelly over the cream cheese and provide a basket of crackers as well as a cute jelly knife for spreading. This allows the eater to determine how much cream cheese and jelly they prefer.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guest Recipes!

Happy Friday!

Here are some guest recipes from the week. Please enjoy your weekend!

Homemade Ice Cream - Made by Dad
Banana Bread - Gretchen
Pork Chops - My Mom

Banana Bread
• ¾ cup margarine (1 ½ sticks)
• 1 ½ cup sugar
• 1 ½ cup mashed bananas
• 2 eggs
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 2 cups flour
• ¾ tsp. baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk
• ½ Tbsp. vinegar
Cream together margarine and sugar. Add bananas, eggs and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and salt and add alternating ½ cup nuts. Add remaining ingredients. Spray pan and cook 1 ½ hours at 350°F.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Restaurant Review: Tamayo

Tamayo (4.6/5)

Tamayo is on the Larimer Square block in downtown Denver. Jeff has been dying to try this place so we decided a nice dinner out would be enjoyable. As we are early dinner eaters, we arrived 5 minutes before 5:00 and had to wait for them to open the doors. Jeez we are lame! Maybe we could hit up the early bird dinner at Denny's next time. We asked to sit on the patio even though it was hotter than heck.
The Patio
Seating in the patio lounge
Jeff's Tequila Flight, complete with a tomato palate cleanser, salt and lime (not that you need salt and lime with good tequilas)
Look at the color difference between the Anejo (left) and Blanco (right). The middle is a Reposado.
TAMAYOPOLITAN~ Pineapple infused tequila / cranberry / guava $10.
This drink was awesome! Very light, but still a great tequila flavor. It was blended together and had a VERY smooth texture. It was like a fruit-boozy-silk bomb....amazing!
Crispy fresh baked chips with a Yin Yang Salsa
 Queso. Not very smooth or easy to dip but very yummy
QUESO FUNDIDO melted queso gouda & oaxaca / flour tortillas / chile morita salsa 9

My dinner (which is in the appetizer section). The drizzled cream and bean pure (under the flautas) went great with the crispy shells.

FLAUTAS crispy corn tortilla / shredded chicken / three chile sauce / tomatillo salsa / crema fresca 11

Jeff ordered the special of the evening. Seared tuna on a squash puree. The puree was so smooth and the tuna was cooked great. This dish is pretty healthy....seafood and VEGGIES!

Food: 4.5/5
Gourmet Mexican food. Very fresh and unique. Priced well for quality. Queso was a little hard to dip into.

Service: 5/5
As we were the only ones was great. Our server was very knowledgeable about tequila. Everything was brought out quick. He was friendly.

Atmosphere: 4.5/5
Outside balcony has a beautiful view of the city and both Coors Field and Invesco Field. Modern and colorful decor. Has a lounge on the balcony that looked like a great place to get drinks.

What is your favorite Mexican restaurant?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gluten Free Pankcakes

What is the best dinner when you are not really feeling that good, when you are tired and just want to be a bum and lay around?...PANCAKES! I exercised a little patience and was able to produce that golden brown look. Usually my pankcakes end up runny in the middle and burnt on the edges...but NO , not TODAY! I used Bob's Red Mill pancake mix and they tasted wonderful.

What is your favorite food when you are under the weather?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wraps

Sorry these pictures are terrible! I had my good friend Devon over for a dinner and since it was pushing 8 before dinner would be ready, I knew some appitizers would be needed. I think they look a little like pigs in a blanket but the ingredients could not be more different. I am not propsing that you lie to small childen, well maybe I am, but if you have picky eater on your hands, perhaps you could get away with saying that these acutally ARE pigs in blankets.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wraps
From Yours Truly

-1 red pepper
-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-Chili powder, salt and pepper
-2 whole wheat tortillas

Cut the red pepper in half and remove the stem. Coat the pepper in olive oil and add the chili powder, salt and pepper to the inside of the pepper. Place on a cookie sheet and bake until tender (~20 minutes). Cut the tortillas in half (heat for a moment in the microwave) and spread hummus on each slice. Top with the red peppers, roll it up and MUNCH.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Play Dough

Happy Labor Day!

Do you have kids?
Has your Cranium play dough dried up?
Do you just love the feeling of squishing things between your fingers?

Make some homemade play dough!
It is A. Easy B. Edible and C. Fun
A great activity for kids to help in the kitchen.

Play dough
• 1 cup flour
• ½ cup salt
• 1 cup water
• 1 Tbsp. cooking oil
• 2 tsp. cream of Tartar
Mix and heat until a ball forms. Add food coloring is desired.

This recipe makes twice as much as shown in the picture. I heard if you add baby oil instead of cooking oil it will stay good longer (but is no longer edible).

What did you do on Labor Day?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Apple Crisp

Happy Friday!
As fall is right around the corner, cooked apples and cinnamon are in style! This Apple Crisp recipe is pretty easy and goes GREAT on ice cream. To try and further my quest for healthy options, I used a rice milk ice cream that was surprisingly delicious.  

Apple Crisp
• 4 cups sliced granny smith apples (3-4 apples)
• ¾ cup packed brown sugar
• ½ cup flour
• ½ cup oats
• 1/3 cup butter softened
• ¾ tsp. cinnamon
• ¾ tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375°. Arrange apples in greased pan 9x13in. Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over apples. Bake until topping is golden brown and apples are tender, ~30 minutes. Serve warm if desired with ice cream.

What is your favorite fall treat?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Artichoke with Lemon Balsamic Butter

As I wandered through the grocery store last week, I could not help but notice the pile of artichokes. In the coming days I was determined to do something about it! What is the best way to enjoy artichoke? Boil it and make a delicious butter sauce for dipping.

Artichoke with Lemon Balsamic Butter Sauce
Recipe by Jeff
• 1 whole artichoke
• ¼ stick butter
• 1 lemon (juice)
• A few shakes of balsamic vinegar
• Salt and pepper to taste
Submerge the artichoke in boiling water and boil until soft (around 20 minutes). Melt the butter and add the lemon juice, balsamic, salt and pepper. Add a random sprig of really anything to make it beautiful! (This was my contribution). Peel the leaves off one by one, dipping soaking them in butter. Once you reach the center of the artichoke…enjoy the heart!

How do you like to use artichokes in cooking?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Guest Post - Shannon and Stephani’s Rainbow Beet Soup

By Shannon

Beets get a bad name, because nobody ever uses them or even knows what they actually taste like. They have also been known to stain EVERYTHING if you’re not careful with them. This recipe is delicious, but rather time consuming. It’s not difficult; everything just takes a while to cook down. I imagine it would go really well over rice.

Shannon and Stephani’s Rainbow Beet Soup
• 4-5 fresh beets
• 3 russet potatoes
• 3 small onions
• Chives
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
• Butter
• Fresh basil
• Fresh parsley
• Fresh rosemary
• Fresh or dried thyme
• Rainbow chard
• Zucchini
• Squash
• 3 carrots
• Pinto beans
• Red cooking wine
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Sizeable amount of vegetable stock- this is the KEY ingredient. You’ll want enough to cover the beets, to cover the beets and the potatoes, to cook the diced veggies in, and to mix with your blended stock.

1) Chop greens off beets and coarsely chop up beets. Place beets in a large stockpot and cover with some vegetable stock, a squirt or two of red cooking wine, salt, and pepper. Bring this to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow beets to simmer like this for 45+ minutes. The goal is to get them as tender and mushy as possible.
2) Dice up 1 ½ potatoes. If you are not going to skin them be sure that they are cut into small enough pieces that the skin won’t be overwhelming. Vegetable skin has a lot of nutrients in it. Place diced potatoes in stock pot with beets, add veggie stock as necessary to cover the vegetables, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
3) Meanwhile, in a skillet heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter on low heat. Dice up 2 small onions, some chives, the garlic cloves, basil, parsley, and rosemary. Add onions to the butter when melted and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add everything else, salt and pepper to taste, and let it cook on low for about 10-15 minutes. You want the onions to be tender, not burnt, and all of the other stuff to be cooked down. Add butter as necessary. You want the consistency to be fairly buttery, since this is going to be a component of your stock.
4) As soon as the beet/potato mixture is cooled and the sautéed onion mixture is cooled (doesn’t have to be all the way, you just don’t want to put really hot things in a blender) combine them in a blender and liquefy. Don’t be surprised if it’s purple, that’s normal. Once blended, transfer back to stock pot. This is the base stock for your soup. It will probably be pretty thick. Add the liquid from the canned beans and veggie stock as necessary to get stock to desired consistency, just don’t over-do it. Set stock pot aside.
5) Chop up remaining potatoes, zucchini, squash, carrots, and chard. Chop the stems of the chard up as well. In a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add in potatoes and toss to coat in butter. Let them cook on their own for a minute or two and then add the zucchini, squash, carrots, and chard stems. Leave the chard greens out. Add a little bit of veggie stock, dried or fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring this mixture to a boil, then cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. You want the potatoes to be tender.
6) Put the stock pot full of beet stock on a burner at medium-low heat. Add in pinto beans and cooked veggie mixture as soon as it’s done. Cover and let it heat through. Meanwhile, in same sauté pan, heat a little bit of butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add chard and cook until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Once wilted, put chard into soup and heat through. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, crushed red chili flakes, and anything else that seems appropriate. Heath through and serve it up.

This recipe sounds a little complicated but my roomies are master chefs (also master improvisers!) Happy cooking!