Tag Archives: cranberry

Still Juicin’ & A Healthful Hint

Just a quickie juicing update.  I’m still juicing my raw fruits and veggies once a day and promised periodic juicing updates.  This is prime citrus season so if you’re able to tolerate fresh juice, and especially acidic juices like citrus this is the time to add them to your juicing.  The local farm stand closed just before Thanksgiving so I’ve been buying my greens at Whole Foods…all organic and beautiful but about three times the price of local produce.  I find the more mature bunched spinach juices better than the baby greens and I’m still using kale, dandelion greens, parsley and beet greens (actually more nutritious than the roots!).  Beside being a blood builder and beneficial to digestion the beetroot gives my juice a nice sweetness and a beautiful ruby color.  Cranberries are still available and the pineapples (juice the core!) have even been on sale these past few weeks.  Half a navel orange (leave as much pith, core and navel as possible!) and a quarter of a Ruby Red grapefruit round out the fruit portion of the juice.  The red and pink varieties of grapefruit contain lycopene…a powerful antioxidant also found in cooked tomato products, papaya and watermelon. Antioxidants are believed to counter the damage that naturally occurs within our bodies during the process of living.  Caution: grapefruit can interfere with the metabolism of certain medications so if you have any concerns consult your doctor or pharmacist before enjoying grapefruit.

My Super Swamp Juice “Recipe”:

1 handful mature spinach

1 handful dandelion greens

2-3 beet greens with stems, depending on size

1 leaf of kale (depending on size)

2-3 sprig of parsley

1/4-1/2 beet root (depending on size)

1/8 pineapple with core

1/4 cup raw cranberries

1/2 navel orange with pith, core and navel

1/4 large ruby red grapefruit with pith and core

1 teaspoon Barlean’s Fresh Catch Orange Flavored Fish Oil

2 teaspoons FruitFast Mixed Berry Concentrate

This combination produces approximately 16 ounces of my “Super Swamp Juice” as I’ve nicknamed it.  I’m still adding a teaspoon of Barlean’s Fresh Catch Orange Fish Oil which adds 4.5 grams of healthy Omega fats and a teaspoon of FruitFast Mixed Berry Concentrate (caution: adds 2 grams of fiber) which is supposed to be the equivalent of one cup of berries. I’m looking forward to trying blood oranges and other forms of citrus.   As with all juicing go slowly in the beginning until you know how your body reacts to it and build your way up.  I avoid all of the cabbage family except for kale.

Healthful Hint!

Recently, I read that a half teaspoon of dried oregano has more antioxidants than a cup of spinach!  So, if you’re able to tolerate tomato products it couldn’t hurt to add some dried oregano.  Grind it with a pinch of salt in a spice grinder and add to low salt/no salt tomato sauce for an antioxidant boost to your Pita Pizzas or pasta dishes and since spinach is on the GP-friendly list why not just add some as well.  Oregano, spinach and tomato sauce…an antioxidant trifecta!


Thanksgiving Leftovers. My Most Favorite Second, Third and Fourth Meal of the Year!

What’s the best thing about Thanksgiving dinner?  Leftovers of course!  The following three ideas for leftovers are family traditions that I’ve adapted for my new GP-friendly lifestyle.  Because everyone’s leftovers are different and there are no exact serving sizes I can’t do a nutritional breakdown of each recipe…just make sure all of your leftover components and portions are GP-friendly for you.

GP-Friendly Big Bird Sammie

Serves 1

1 pita round, split into 2 rounds with scissors (I purchase pita bread from a local Syrian/Lebanese bakery.  The loaves are very thin and the large rounds are 9-10″ in diameter.)  Save remaining half for another purpose.

1 triangle Laughing Cow cheese (any flavor-I used garlic and herb)

thinly sliced leftover turkey breast

leftover jellied cranberry sauce

leftover stuffing

leftover gravy

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.  Spread Laughing Cow wedge over entire surface of pita round.  Layer turkey, cranberry sauce then stuffing over half of the pita.  Salt and pepper between each layer.  Fold pita over to make a half- moon.  Seal in a foil packet and bake until warm-15 to 20 minutes.  Cut into 4 wedges and serve with leftover gravy, if desired.

Turkey Soup

Add a spoonful or cooked rice or noodles to each bowl before serving, if desired.

6 cups turkey stock (From previous post-freeze the other 6 cups or so with some leftover turkey meat for another batch of soup in a month or so)

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes (or carrots if able to eat)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used crimini)

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (ground into a powder with a pinch of salt in spice grinder)

1 tablespoon onion powder

2 teaspoons soy sauce

reserved turkey meat

10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of excess liquid

Add sweet potato cubes, mushrooms, garlic, bay leaf, Herbes de Provence and onion powder to 6 cups of turkey stock.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until sweet potato cubes are tender (approximately 15 minutes).  Add soy sauce, reserved turkey meat and spinach.  Simmer until hot.  Season with salt and pepper.

Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Pie

Serves 1 in an individual gratin dish or multiplied in a pie plate to serve more

Leftover low-fat GP-friendly stuffing

Leftover fat free gravy

bite sized pieces of leftover turkey, skin removed

cooked carrots  (for those who eat carrots)

Leftover fat free mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes or a combination

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Press leftover stuffing into gratin dish or pie plate.  Pre-bake in oven until crispy bottom crust is formed.  Meanwhile, warm gravy, turkey and carrots (if using) in a saucepan.  Pour filling into warm stuffing shell.  Loosen potatoes by stirring with a fork.  Spread or pipe mashed potatoes on top of “pie”.  Bake until potato topping is warm and puffed.

Turkey Day Recipes! Gobble! Gobble!

I love thanksgiving so much that I keep a three-ring binder specifically for Thanksgiving recipes.  Each recipe page is enclosed in a plastic page protector so that it can be wiped down in case of spills.  This was my first Thanksgiving with Gastroparesis so for the first time in a decade my Thanksgiving binder stayed shut.  Instead, I decided to start a completely new chapter (plastic page protectors and all!).

My philosophy this year was KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!).  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie…all festive but more importantly GP-friendly.  Because I LOVE Thanksgiving leftovers I chose to break down a 15+ pound turkey and bone out the breast in order to have the roast plus the dark meat and the carcass and bones for soup.  Breaking down and boning out a turkey is an ambitious task.  These recipes will work just as well accompanying an intact roasted turkey or a boneless turkey breast ordered from the butcher.  I’ll be honest I still shed a few tears while I was cleaning mushrooms instead of cutting cornbread cubes for stuffing but the happy news is that there are a few new low-fat, low fiber Gastroparesis-friendly recipe pages to add to my Thanksgiving binder.  Oh, and I lied in a previous post…this wasn’t a butter-less Thanksgiving..there was one tablespoon of butter in the entire meal!

Maple Glazed Boneless Stuffed Turkey Breast

Serves 8

5-7 pound boneless turkey breast

1 recipe Wild Mushroom, Roasted Pear & Herbes de Provence Bread Stuffing

2 tablespoons maple syrup (I like grade B)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place turkey breast skin side down on work surface.  Open up each breast lobe by slicing open the middle of each breast. The new meat flaps should open like pages of a book and even out the roast.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place half of stuffing in the center of roast and wrap edges of turkey around stuffing-it should look like a football.   Tie roast with kitchen string and secure with “turkey pins”(the small skewers sold as turkey lacers).  Place skin side up on a rimmed sheet pan or in a shallow baking dish, spray with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for an 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours or until internal temperature (center of stuffing) registers 160 degrees on an instant read thermometer.  Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes into roasting brush entire surface with maple syrup.  Allow roast to rest on cutting board 15 minutes before slicing.

Wild Mushroom, Roasted Pear & Herbes de Provence Bread Stuffing

Enough stuffing for a 5-7 pound boneless turkey breast and an additional baking dish of dressing.  This can be made a day ahead if desired.

1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence (savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon, lavender flowers)

1/2 teaspoon dried french thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1 1/2 pounds French Pullman (French white sandwich loaf) crusts removed and cut into 1″ cubes – stale

2 large Roasted Pears cut into 3/4″ chunks

2 1/2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms* (I used 1 lb chanterelles, 1 lb shiitake, 1/2 lb crimini) washed and trimmed.  Shiitake stems are tough and inedible remove.  Save stems and trimmings for Turkey Soup Stock.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup dry French white vermouth (optional-can substitute stuffing stock)

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 cup fat free half & half

1 recipe Stuffing Stock

Grind Herbes d Provence, thyme and sage into a powder using a spice (coffee) grinder.  Divide mixture in half and set aside.  Spray a large saute pan and melt butter over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms to pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until mushrooms give off their liquid.  Add vermouth, onion powder and half of the reserved herb powder.  Cook until liquid is 3/4 evaporated.  Add fat free half & half.  Warm through and check for seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper if necessary.  Pour mushroom mixture into a large bowl with bread cubes and roasted pear chunks.  Season with remaining herb powder.  Toss to combine.  Ladle Stuffing Stock into stuffing mixture until moist but not soupy.  Save any unused stuffing stock for Turkey Soup Stock.  Taste for seasoning.  Adjust if necessary.  Use half of stuffing to stuff turkey breast and bake remaining stuffing uncovered in a baking dish along side turkey breast until crispy on top.  Approximately 1 1/2 hours.

*If using Portobellos remove gills from underneath the cap as they will stain the stuffing purple/gray.  Avoid using all white button mushrooms-they don’t have the depth of flavor of Crimini, Portobello, Shiitake and wild mushrooms.

Roasted Pears

These can be made a a few days ahead if desired.

3 ripe/firm Bartlet pears, peeled and halved

juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt and pepper

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray a small sheet pan with cooking spray.  Toss pears in lemon juice.  Place cut side down on sheet pan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spray tops.  Roast 40-50 minutes or until tender and bottoms are golden.  When cool enough to handle, remove to cutting board and scoop out core with small spoon or melon baller and remove strings with a small knife.

Stuffing Stock

This can be made a few days ahead or even frozen until needed.

Makes 6 to 8 cups

6-8 cups low sodium chicken stock (1 1/2-2 32 ounce boxes)

3 onions, chopped

3 stalks celery, including leaves, chopped

sprig parsley

1 bay leaf

5 peppercorns

mushroom stems (optional – I had a few shiitake stems in the freezer)

Add all ingredients to a large pot with a lid.  Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer 1-2 hours until fragrant.  Strain and discard solids.  Cool then refrigerate.

Doctored Fat Free Turkey Gravy From The Jar

Serves 8

2 jars Heinz Fat free roasted turkey gravy

1 Roasted Pear

pinch dried thyme

fresh lemon juice

Puree roasted pear and thyme.  Stir into gravy.  Adjust seasoning with freshly ground black pepper and a few drops of fresh lemon juice.

LIBBY’S Famous Pumpkin Pie the GP-friendly Way

LIBBY’S Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe has been on the can since 1950.  I’ve always added a few gratings of fresh nutmeg and vanilla extract.  You won’t even miss the crust.  Serve with fat free ReddiWip and gingersnaps.

Serves 8

3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Freshly grated nutmeg (a few passes across microplane/rasp)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 eggs

15 ounce can pumpkin puree

12 ounce can fat free evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix sugar, spices and salt in a small bowl to combine.  In a larger bowl, beat eggs add vanilla, sugar mixture and pumpkin puree.  Mix to combine.  Stir in evaporated milk.  Pour into pie plate.  Bake for 15 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees.  Bake 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the radius (half-way between the center and the edge) comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving of Pie:

Serves 8

144 calories, 1.4 grams fat, 1.7 grams fiber, 5.2 grams protein

Thoughts of Thanksgiving…My Most Favorite Meal of the Year!

Thanksgiving is just two and a half weeks away and I’ve ordered my turkey from Whole Foods…a 14-16 pound free range bird.  I’ve had some trouble digesting turkey since my diagnosis and have avoided it for the past six months or so.  This weekend I successfully enjoyed a turkey breast sandwich (as a calculated “dry run”) so it’s going to be roast turkey on Turkey Day!

This year’s tentative (and butterless) Gastroparesis-friendly Thanksgiving Menu:

No Fat Lobster Bisque served in demitasse cups

Maple Glazed Boneless Stuffed Turkey Breast with Wild Mushroom, Roasted Pear and Herbes de Provence Bread Stuffing.

Fat-free Mashed Potatoes with Turkey Gravy (doctored from a jar this year…who knows about next year)

Cranberry Sauce (ditto)

Crustless Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnaps and Fat-free Whipped Cream

I’ve tried to focus on what can be included versus what I can no longer have.  This is my first GP-friendly Thanksgiving so I’m trying to keep things simple.  Because I haven’t made any of these recipes yet I’m unable to share them but will take careful notes and post complete recipes as soon as I’m able for Gastroparesis-friendly recipes for Christmas as well as a few GP-friendly leftovers.  What I am certain about is the time the Big Meal will be served…nice and early so there is ample time for a post-prandial digestive stroll between dinner and dessert.

Realistically, I know this Thanksgiving will be different from the rest.  I know I will spend the day alternating between mourning my old life and resenting the new one.  I remind myself on a regular basis that there are certain situations in life where we simply do not have a choice in the matter…things are as they are and although I may not have control over what’s happened to me I am in complete control over how I choose to view my present situation.  This Thanksgiving I will be thankful for the ability to enjoy certain solids again, to be able to exercise (had paralysis in one foot during this megaflare making it difficult to walk) and for a peaceful mind (after an unpleasant experience with Reglan).  Most importantly, I’m thankful for a loving husband and his constant care and support throughout this journey.

Please feel free to share your thoughts, recipes and cooking questions for a Gastroparesis-friendly Thanksgiving.  I’d love to hear them all!  Eat well!  Be well! Enjoy! GOBBLE!  GOBBLE!

Juicy News

I have some juicy news…I’ve added a seasonal favorite to my daily juicing.  Cranberries!  Very delicious when accompanied by half of a navel orange.  Fresh cranberries are only available in November and December so I plan on grabbing a bag each week until they’re gone.  Cranberries, especially when consumed raw, are loaded with several antioxidants and possess an antibacterial quality…great for cold and flu season.  Oranges are a rich source of antioxidants as well as bioflavanoids.  The white pith of the orange is chock full of benefits so I try to leave as much pith along with the “navel” when preparing an orange for the juicer.  The farm stand is open for the next two weeks and colder weather makes for great root veggies and greens.  Washed and dried, then wrapped in paper towels or linen tea towels and stored in clean plastic bags, fresh greens will stay viable for a week and are ready to juice when you are.

During my internet travels I came across a supplement made completely from berries.  FruitFast Mixed Berry Liquid Fruit Supplement is made from red raspberry, concord grape and wild blueberry juice concentrate, black raspberries, red raspberries, wild blueberries and strawberries (including skins and pulp).  One teaspoon delivers 200mg of Anthocyanins (potent antioxidants)…the amount in approximately one cup of  fresh berries.  Each bottle contains 60 servings at approximately $18 per bottle…much cheaper than purchasing berries out of season.  Warning for those who are very sensitive to fiber: each teaspoon contains 2 grams of fiber.

Unlike the “ginger debaucle” of the last juicing update cranberries and FruitFast have proven tasty and digestible.  Please keep in mind that canberries (as well as oranges) are considered highly acidic so start out small (1/4 cup cranberries with 1/4 -1/2 orange) in the beginning until you’re sure they agree with you.

I really look forward to my tall glass of “fresh” each day.  This has been your “juicy update”…Eat well!  Be well!  Enjoy!

My juicing recipe as of late is as follow:

1/2 cup raw cranberries

1/2 medium orange with as much white pith and navel left as possible

1 spear of pineapple with core

Greens: spinach, kale, dandelion, parsley, beet greens

1/2 small to medium beet root

1 teaspoon Barlean’s Fresh Catch orange flavored fish oil (available at health food stores or online at http://www.barleans.com)

1 teaspoon FruitFast Mixed Berry Liquid Fruit Supplement (available online at http://www.fruitfast.com)

Chicken – the only meat so far

Some days the thought of highly seasoned or even any seasoning makes me hesitate and I just keep it plain and simple.  Recently, I’ve been looking forward to a little more flavor and something from the grill before the season slips away.  Chicken is the only meat I’ve been eating and I will eventually try to reintroduce more if and when the time seems right.  The following recipe is based on a similar one on the http://www.eatbetteramerica.com website.  I served it with mashed sweet potato. I hope you enjoy it

Grilled Maple & Cranberry Glazed Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 teaspoon dried french thyme (more or less depending on tolerance – pulverize with a mortar and pestle)

onion powder (to taste)

salt and pepper

1/2 15 oz can jellied cranberry sauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1.Turn chicken breasts over.  If they still have their tenders attached remove and set aside for another meal.  Cut each chicken breast into two cutlets by placing a palm on top and carefully slicing horizontally.  The thinner pieces will cook more quickly and evenly.

2.Season cutlets with thyme, onion powder and salt and pepper.

3.Meanwhile warm the cranberry sauce and maple syrup in a small saucepan.  Whisk until smooth before stirring in vinegar.  Reserve half of glaze for serving.

4.Preheat grill and oil grates.  Cook chicken approximately 4-5 minutes on each side brushing with glaze.  Serve with reserved warm glaze.