Tag Archives: pancakes

Tasty Find! Eats,Treats and Tummy Tamers

Not everything I enjoy is homemade.  I have plenty of store-bought favorite eats, treats and tummy tamers so I thought I’d take a moment to mention some of them…

EATS:

It’s no secret I’m a very cautious eater but I do eat out on occasion and on evenings that I absolutely, positively do not want to cook there are two places where I trust I’ll get a “safe” meal.  I’m currently trying to expand my dining out horizons so if anyone wants to share their safe meals and go-to restaurants please do!

IHOP I can most certainly make pancakes and scrambled eggs myself but sometimes it’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and clean up.  A stack of buttermilk pancakes and two scrambled eggs are a safe and simple dinner out.  I ask for the butter to be left off and sometimes (to the horror and embarrassment of Hubby) bring my own real maple or berry syrup for the pancakes.  I take the extra pancakes home for later.

Ted’s Montana Grill For a cozy, more up-scale dining experience we head to Ted’s for dinner.  My “safe” meal is one of the same meals I ordered before my GP diagnosis-Beer Can Chicken with a baked sweet potato (available after 4:00 pm) with the cinnamon butter on the side.  Once the skin is removed the chicken is still moist and tasty.  The baked sweet potato is tender and delicious and barely needs a small dollop of the cinnamon butter. I ask for an extra plate and use the room to cut up my chicken away from the pool of sauce at the bottom of the soup plate they serve it in.  I give my roasted asparagus spears to Hubby and ask for a take out box for the rest of the chicken and half sweet potato.  This is not how the meal is written on the menu.  I don’t ask I just specifically order it this way.  Ted’s has locations in Montana, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Virgina, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

TREATS:

When I was trying to maintain my weight I started to snack mindlessly between meals and snacks…exactly what they tell you not to do when trying to lose weight.  Now that I’ve gained five pounds I need to be a little more mindful of my treats.  Remember treats and sweets are for after your nutritional needs are met.  These are a few of my favorites…

Trader Joe’s Low Fat Cat Cookies for People are available in ginger and chocolatey flavor.  They are modestly sized, crunchy, not overly sweet and are reasonably priced at approximately $2.49 per 16 ounce tub…oh, and very tasty too.

15 Ginger Cats: 120 calories, 2 grams fat, <1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein

15 Chocolatey Cats: 110 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein.

Kedem Tea Biscuits are made in Israel and available in the Jewish section of the market.  They are crisp, delicate, rectangular tea biscuits available in vanilla, orange, chocolate and plain flavor.  Each sleeve is approximately 79 cents and sometime 3 sleeves for a dollar during the Jewish holidays.  I enjoy them plain or as little sandwiches filled with seedless blackberry, strawberry or raspberry jam..and sometimes add a little almond or peanut butter.

2 biscuits: 32 calories, 1 gram fat, 0.2 grams fiber, 0.5 grams protein

Double Rainbow and Hagen Daz Chocolate Sorbet are both a refreshing change when I’m dairy-ed out at the end of the day.  The Double Rainbow sorbet (available at Trader Joe’s) has a fudgey flavor and is more reasonably priced than the Hagen Daz sorbet.  However, the Hagen Daz chocolate sorbet has a much richer dark chocolate flavor.  If you’re looking for a non-dairy chocolate fix both are up to the task.

1/2 cup of sorbet: 120 calories, 1 gram fat, 2 grams fiber, 2 grams protein

DelMonte Fruit Chillers are tubes and cups of fruit sorbet available in the canned fruit section of the market.  Each tube or cup is portioned and convenient and doesn’t need to be stored in the freezer until you’re ready for a frozen treat.  Each box is made with 1 pound of fruit and comes in flavors like strawberry snowstorm and grape berry blizzard.

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are downright addictive!  So be warned.  Measure out a small handful and step away from the bag!  Four calories per bean may sound harmless and 100 calories for 25 jelly beans seems modest but then 25 beans turn into 100 and so on and so on….until you’ve plowed through an entire bag.  Guilty as charged!

Min Pretzels and Baked Lay’s Potato Crisps hit the salty spot.  I find sometimes a small handful of mini pretzels or a few crisps is all it takes.

TUMMY TAMERS:

SoBe Lifewater…specifically the Yumberry Pomegranate flavor.  I generally take the claims on vitamin water bottles with a grain of salt but in this case the ginger and dandelion root extracts really have a way of soothing my tummy.  Even my non-GP Hubby sipped one during his last tummy bug and came to the same conclusion.  This is a calorie free beverage so if you’re trying to gain or maintain be aware that it may be soothing but filling you up without filling you out.

GIN-GINS Double Strength Ginger Hard Candies from the Ginger People are my favorite tummy tamer.  So much so, that I finally broke down and ordered a five pound box directly from them.  They are made with real ginger, sweet and spicy and naturally stimulating (as proclaimed on the package!).  I pop one in my mouth right after lunch and dinner to help kick-start the digesting process or when I get that wave of nausea we’re all so familiar with.

Those are all the eats, treats and tummy tamers I can think of at the moment.  Please feel free to share any of your favorites.  Eat Well! Be Well! Enjoy!

Fleetingly Festive

It’s that time of year again and historically I have about a four minute window in which I feel festive.  Those four minutes basically fall somewhere between Thanksgiving Day and December 1st…after that I get “Scrinchy”…a combination of Scroogy and Grinchy.  Yesterday that four minute window opened so I took the opportunity to decorate and hang wreathes on the front and mudroom doors.  This is my first holiday season with Gastroparesis and I’m doing my very best to accept and adjust to “the new normal” but that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel a profound sense of loss.  Just between us, an occasional tantrum has been thrown…like when I dropped the gravy on Thanksgiving Day and promptly put my coat on and went out to “walk it off”.

Back to the wreathes!  It felt so good to get completely lost in a task.  I was so focused on wired ribbons and faux-sugared fruit picks that I completely lost track of time and when I looked at the clock it was time to start thinking about dinner.  What to have?

Pancakes are always easy and my stash of pumpkin spice pancakes in the freezer were gone.  Since I was feeling fleetingly festive I whipped up a batch of Gingerbread Pancakes seasoned with brown sugar, molasses and holiday spices and for topping: some Vanilla Maple Pear Compote…how I LOVE pears…at least they’re GP-friendly!  I generally enjoy my pancakes with scrambled eggs but given they were gingerbread with warm pear compote decided on a 1/4 cup of cottage cheese instead…vanilla Greek yogurt might also be a nice addition.  Either way, don’t forget some extra maple syrup to put it completely over the top!  Warm, seasonal, festive and yes…another tasty Gastroparesis-friendly recipe.

Just a reminder: Pancakes freeze well separated by wax paper in a Ziploc bag and the compote freezes just as well in small containers…just defrost in the microwave and pair with a protein for a no effort GP-friendly dinner.

Gingerbread Pancakes

These pancakes are not sweet and are subtly spiced.  Feel free to add more sweetener and amp up the spices but be careful there’s a fine line between spicy and bitter.  Having said that, the Vanilla Maple Pear Compote complements them beautifully.  Pancake batter can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.

Makes 12 4″ pancakes, 6 servings of 2 pancakes

Pancake mix of your choice-enough to make 12 4″ pancakes (I used 2 cups Whole Foods 365 Organic Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 teaspoons ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon molasses (I prefer Blackstrap molasses)

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

freshly grated zest of 1 lemon – (a microplane produces very light wispy gratings of zest-leave out if you are concerned)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups fat free milk (follow whatever your mix suggests, may also use water if your mix contains buttermilk-check preparation instructions)

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.  Do not overmix.  For best results allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before using.  Drop batter by 1/4 cups onto a sprayed non-stick griddle.  When bubbles form on the top of the pancake its time to flip.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Based on 2 4″ pancakes

222 Calories, 0.4 grams Fiber, 3.9 grams Fat, 7.8 grams Protein

Vanilla Maple Pear Compote

Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups or 10 1/4 cup servings

Can be made ahead of time.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

3 large ripe Bartlet pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, cored and chopped

juice of 1 lemon, strained

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until pears are very soft-approximately 30 minutes-only you know how soft you require cooked fruit.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Based on 10 1/4 cup servings

88 Calories, 0.1 grams Fat, 3 grams Fiber*, 0.4 grams Protein

*Recipe analysis based on unpeeled pears-peels contain a significant amount of fiber so this figure may be a little inflated.

Maintenance Cooking

Maintenance as in maintaining meal staples or maybe just plain maintaining sanity with all the straining and pureeing necessary for a Gastroparesis-friendly life!  I’m innately lazy when it come to certain things.  I’d rather cook once, make the mess once, clean up once but have multiple servings of Gastroparesis-friendly staples on hand.  Preparing an easy and nutritious dinner is possible with a few “go to” items already prepped and waiting.  Foods that are easy to “prep” once and portion for the freezer are:

Roasted Butternut Squash. (from 9/30/10 post)  Definitely worth the trouble.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Cut butternut squash in half length wise and scrape out the seeds with a sharp spoon.  Cook as many squash as you have room/pans for.  Place each half cut side down in a rimmed sheet pan or baking pan with 1/4 inch of water.  Roast for approximately 35-45 minutes until a skewer can be inserted in the neck of the squash without resistance.  Let cool and when cool enough to handle scoop out the flesh and mash in a big bowl (puree in a food processor if necessary).  Freeze in individual containers.  Squash can be seasoned as savory with onion powder, garlic, thyme and even parmesan cheese or sweet with brown sugar, maple syrup or even a spoonful of orange juice concentrate from the freezer.  A great side dish or base for soup.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes.  Place as many potatoes as can fit on a sheet pan in the oven.  Roast until potatoes are tender then peel, mash and portion into containers for the freezer.  Defrost in the microwave.   Season as desired then reheat for a quick side dish.  Mashed sweet potatoes can be enjoyed as is or seasoned savory or sweet.  (See post 10/21/10 for Gingerbread Sweet Potatoes)

Fragrant Rices.  Yes, rice can be frozen.  I don’t eat rice that often (usually when I’m having something with Asian flavor) and I like fragrant rices like jasmine and basmati.  I plug in the rice cooker and make more than I need, portion 1 cup or so of leftover rice in small Ziploc bags and store in the freezer.  Defrost and reheat the rice in the microwave for a quick side dish or addition to soup…how’s that for minute rice!

Strained Pasta Sauce. I strain pasta sauce primarily for Three Cheese Pita Pizzas (see post 9/3/10).  I purchase a no salt, no sugar added regional brand without a lot of chunky ingredients so there is very little to strain out.  Strain a couple of jars at a time then portion for the freezer.  Strained pasta sauce is there when I need it…just defrost.  For a little “veggie boost” divide any leftover canned pumpkin puree to the strained sauce.  It reduces the amount of tomato (if acid is a problem) in each serving and you won’t even notice the pumpkin is there.

Chicken Tenders. My favorite tip for an easy and free meal.  When I purchase a family package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts I check to see if the tenders have been left on (Whole Foods usually leaves them).  Remove the tenders and freeze in a separate container.  I’ve saved off up to 12 ounces of tenders depending on how big the package of chicken is.  No one will miss them and they are easy to defrost in the microwave and cook quickly or add to soup.

Peeled and Portioned Ginger Root. Always have ginger on hand by buying it when it looks fresh, peel it and cut into thumb sized pieces before freezing.  It will always be waiting for teas, to add to recipes or for flavoring soup.

Pancakes. It’s virtually impossible to make just two pancakes.  So I mix up a whole batch, cook them and when they’re cool pack them away in a Ziploc bag with a piece of wax paper between each pancake.  Defrost and reheat in the microwave and pair with some scrambled eggs for a quick and easy GP-friendly meal.

Sneaking in Those Greens

Frozen, chopped organic spinach is a staple in my freezer.  I purchase it 4 boxes at a time and have a defrosted, drained box in my fridge at all times.  Spinach is one of the veggies on the recommended list provided by the Dietitian.  Recently, at Whole Foods, I grabbed one of the booklets out on the tables in the dining area.  It suggested a clever way to get more greens by adding baby spinach or defrosted frozen chopped spinach to your morning smoothie.  The author promised that you wouldn’t even notice the spinach.  I thought about it for a minute and decided to give it a try with my morning Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie.

I get the majority of my greens from juicing but for the days I know I’ll be out and about and not able to juice or know I’m going to be out for a GP friendly dinner of fish and baked potato, chicken and sweet potato or pancakes and scrambled eggs…all conspicuously devoid of greens it would be a great way to fill in the gap.  I’m happy to report that I put 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped, defrosted, drained spinach in my smoothie this morning and all I noticed was a few green flecks.  Everyone is different so add whatever amount you feel comfortable with.  Also, everyone’s smoothie recipes are different so lighter flavors might not cover up the spinach taste as well as chocolate flavor.

Other easy ways to sneak in those greens:

Mashed Potatoes Florentine

Makes 4 generous servings

1 bag Ore Ida Steam & Mash Russets*

1 cup skim milk, low fat buttermilk, fat free half & half, chicken broth or a combination

frozen chopped spinach-defrosted and drained (snipped with scissors or pureed if necessary)-whatever amount is desired

fat free sprinkle cheese or grated parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

*OreIda Steam & Mash is a convenience item with a price to match (up to $3.99 a bag).  They’re good for hot or busy days when you don’t want to peel, chop and boil.

Make potatoes according to instructions.  My microwave is underpowered and it takes 20 minutes to cook potatoes thoroughly.  Heat spinach in microwave.  Mash potatoes with milk and stir in spinach, cheese and salt and pepper.

“Creamy” Chicken & Spinach Velvet Soup

I’m almost ashamed to call this a recipe but it helped get me throw the puree and liquid days.  The “velvet” comes from pureeing the pasta in the soup. It is warm, smooth and the prettiest shade of green.

1 19 oz can Homestyle Chicken Noodle Vegetable Soup*(not condensed)

frozen chopped spinach-defrosted and drained

leftover roasted chicken breast (for a little protein boost-optional)

*I use a local store brand because it doesn’t contain soy protein isolate.  I’m also, allergic to carrots and celery so I pick them out.  Leave the carrots in if you are able to eat them.

Thoroughly puree soup, spinach and extra chicken (if using) in a blender.  Transfer to a saucepan, heat and eat.