Tag Archives: Tasty Find!

Tasty Find! And This Time It’s A Book

So you can’t eat it, but it may be able to help you eat better!  Fifty percent of those who were kind enough to participate in the most recent Poll were looking for ways to include more fruits and veggies in their diet…not always an easy task for those of us with Gastroparesis.

Recently, during a post-prandial, pro-digestive stroll, Hubby and I took  a browse through Sur La Table, one of my favorite cookware shops.  It was there I leafed through an interesting book: Cooking for Baby Recipes by Lisa Barnes. The cover boasts “Wholesome, homemade, delicious foods for 6 to 18 months”.  I’m always on the lookout for easily digestible ways to include more fruits and veggies in my day whether it’s juicing raw fruits and veggies, oven-roasting squash and root veggies, pureeing soups or even eating baby food.

During a visit with a Registered Dietitian shortly after my diagnosis I was told, because it has been pureed and strained, ALL baby food is acceptable for people with Gastroparesis .  Early on in the book the author asks “Do you eat a lot of  jarred, canned or processed food?”  The answer for most GPers is probably “Yes” given the constraints of the low fat/low fiber GP diet.  She then lists the benefits of making baby food at home: It’s unadulterated, more versatile, more varied and more nutritious.  I got to thinking, if it is that beneficial to babies why couldn’t it be beneficial to those of us with Gastroparesis, especially given our fruit and veggie challenges?  I ordered the book from Amazon (sorry Sur La Table) where it was cheaper and qualified for super saver shipping.

After reading the entire book, I feel the recipes are easily adaptable to be GP-friendly and provide a healthy and easy way to include more fruits and veggies day-to-day.  There are also suggestions for what herbs and spices pair best with certain fruits and veggies and the book includes a “how to” for making meat purees if that is or ever becomes necessary.

Recipes range from simple purees to more appealing dishes like Pumpkin Soup with Alphabet Pasta, Hidden Veggie Sauce (a combination of  homemade spinach and sweet potato purees combined with strained tomato sauce for sneaking in extra veggies plus a little Blackstrap Molasses for added iron) and Vegetable Oven Fries (using sweet potatoes, beets and rutabaga).  My only disappointment with the book is the lack of nutritional information for the recipes.

Just a reminder, purees can be easily morphed into very tasty soups with a little chicken or veggie stock and some creative seasoning.  Press purees and soups through a fine mesh strainer for extra peace of mind.  I regularly enjoy a teacup of pureed veggie soup with my dinner in lieu of plain, overcooked veggies.  I hope this “Tasty Find!” is able to help any of my fellow GPer’s who are looking for creative ways to increase their produce intake.  As always: Eat Well!  Be Well! Enjoy!

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Tasty Find! Red Mango Frozen Yogurt

I find a stroll after dinner helps with digestion.  In mild weather Hubby and I walk our neighborhood or take the dog for a walk at a local university campus. Since the evenings have turned cold and dark we’ve had to get creative with our post prandial strolls.  I like to do my errands on the weeknights and a stroll around Target or a quick walk around Whole Foods is usually all I need to help get my dinner moving and take my mind off that feeling of lingering fullness.  Then there’s window shopping at the mall and with 2 million square feet of floor space its the perfect location to walk off a meal on a cold winter’s night.  It also just happens to be the locale of my new favorite frozen yogurt place!

I have a confession to make.  I don’t really like frozen yogurt.  It’s like soft serve ice cream and I don’t like that either which is why I usually opt for sorbet when we’re out for “ice cream”.  Red Mango has changed that opinion!  It’s still soft serve frozen yogurt but unlike the ubiquitous Dannon frozen yogurt it retains its yogurt-y twang.    Red Mango is all-natural, certified gluten-free, contains no artificial sweeteners (including high fructose corn syrup) and is fortified with an exclusive probiotic.  All Red Mango frozen yogurt is no-fat with approximately 100 calories per half-cup serving.

They offer flavors like Original (plain yogurt), Pomegranate, Madagascar Vanilla and the Flavor of the Day…usually several flavors.  So far I’ve tried the Original, Pumpkin Spice and new Dark Chocolate flavors.  YUM!  Several toppings are available and potentially GP-friendly options include sliced fresh banana, honey, graham cracker crumbs and fun cereals like fruity pebbles, cocoa pebbles and Cap’n Crunch.

Their menu lists Parfaits, Smoothies, Hot Chocolate Chillers and Probiotic Iced Teas…some may or may not be GP-friendly depending on your tolerances and how you order.  Red Mango has locations in 25 states.  Hopefully you have a location near you!

Eat Well! Be Well!  Enjoy!

Tasty Find! Trader Joe’s Light Egg Nog

No holiday season feels complete without a little cup of egg nog (with “cheer” or without).  I’m one of those GPers who can’t tolerate whole fat dairy and most commercial egg nogs start at four grams of fat for a half cup serving and go all the way up to 10 grams for the luxurious full fat versions.  I’ve been pining for a small egg nog since Thanksgiving and downright fantasizing about a Starbuck’s egg nog latte.  I had given up my search at four grams of fat for a half cup serving so you can imagine my delight when I picked up a carton of Trader Joe’s Light Egg Nog!  A half cup serving comes in at 110 calories, 1 gram of fat, 0 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein…yes, you read that correctly…1 gram of fat!  Just a little tidbit about fat: fat coats the palate and creates the pleasant “mouth feel” of super premium ice cream, full fat dairy and baked goods made with butter.  It also dulls flavor so when it’s removed low fat products become less than luxurious and very sweet.  This is true for the Trader Joe’s Light Egg Nog but I’ve chosen to overlook its shortcomings and focus on its possibilities…

Trader Joe’s Light Egg Nog Latte aka DIY Holiday Egg Nog Latte

Serves one but can be multiplied

1/2 cup light egg nog

1 cup (or so) hot coffee

vanilla sugar (optional)

Fat free ReddiWip (optional)

freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Brew coffee.  Microwave egg nog until hot.  Froth with stick blender (or cover container and shake vigouously….the “poor man’s milk frother”…open carefully).  Blend coffee with hot, frothed egg nog.  Sweeten with vanilla sugar or as desired and top with optional Fat free ReddiWip and a fresh grating of nutmeg.  Sing Christmas carols at the top of your lungs…just kidding-it’s okay to be quietly festive while enjoying your egg nog latte.

Not all GPers can tolerate coffee.  Generally, I limit myself to one cup in the morning after my smoothie but made an exception for the latte.  Coffee has a tendency to kill my appetite and there are days when I can feel it sitting in my tummy.  If this is the case and you’re not sure what to do with the remaining seven servings left in the quart may I suggest adding it to pancake batter, french toast or bread pudding custard or baking a pumpkin egg nog flan.

Tasty Find!

I’ve decided that along with Juicing Updates I’m going to start a new recurring theme called “Tasty Find!”.  As I stumble upon tasty GP-friendly food items, combinations or new products I’ll post a review of sorts.  Hopefully, this will inspire some of you to post a few of yours.

Today’s “Tasty Find!” is Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle cheese wedges.  Now, I’ve always been a fan of  “the cow” and have fond childhood memories of enjoying La Vache Qui Rit cubes in my grandfather’s kitchen.  Each tasty, creamy wedge contains 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein.

Any flavor Laughing Cow wedge can be melted with some fat free milk to create a low-fat creamy “Alfredo” sauce, stirred into a baked potato as a flavorful change from butter or sour cream, or used as a savory sandwich spread…which is how I enjoyed the Queso Fresco & Chipotle…spread on half of a pita round with some sliced deli chicken breast.  Smooth, smokey and muy delicioso amigos!

Also, there’s a new Blue Cheese flavor Light Laughing Cow but since I’m allergic to blue cheese you’ll have to taste test it yourselves.