Thursday, March 29, 2012

Anti-inflammatory Flatbread

My flatbread recipes are getting simpler and simpler. This particular flatbread was because of the inflammation that the water caused in my body. I'm trying to detox myself for a few days to eliminate those weird neural feelings. They're virtually gone but if I do have some heavy metal contamination from drinking bottled water (see posts from last week), then I need to eat appropriate herbs that will reduce the metal's effect in my body and hopefully draw some of the metals out of my tissues. This flatbread has many anti-inflammatory ingredients: turmeric, onion, garlic and thyme.

Turmeric Flatbread

2 1/2 cups (guessing) garbanzo bean flour
1/2 a long zucchini (chunked)
1 large onion (chunked)
6 cloves garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons thyme
2 tablespoons turmeric
3 tablespoons olive oil and/or coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1-2 teaspoons rosemary (sprinkled on top)
1-2 teaspoons thyme (sprinkled on top)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (sprinkled on top)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (liberally sprinkled on top)

Whizz the zucchini, onion and garlic to a liquid in a food processor. Add the garbanzo bean flour and other ingredients to the food processor and blend till smooth. Pour the blend into a greased and floured pizza pan. Bake on 350F for 35-40 minutes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Black Bean Burgers

Rushed in the door and tried to "whip up" some burgers before I headed out to an evening event. Yesterday before going to bed, I set half of a bag of black beans to soak overnight. This morning before heading out, I poured off the soak water with its contaminants and washed the beans until the run-off water was colorless. Then I put them in my crock-pot, covered them with water and turned the pot on slow cook. So when I walked in the door this evening, dinner depended on what I wanted to do with the beans ... and I wanted burgers!

Black Bean Burgers

4 cups black beans, cooked and mashed
garbanzo bean broth as needed
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour
1 cup purple cabbage, finely shredded
4 stems celery, diced finely
1 cup parsley, shredded and packed
1 tomato, chopped well
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2+ teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons cumin
a couple dashes of cinnamon and cloves (each)
2 teaspoons thyme

First, I dumped a bunch of beans in a big bowl and with a potato masher, I smushed those babies down till all beans had been squashed a bit and some were completely pulverized. If I wanted to really mash them up, I would have used a food processor but I wanted texture in my burgers. Then I chopped up the vegies as fine as I could without dirtying a food processor, dumped everything together, dashed seasonings on and then greased my cookie sheet. Without washing the oil off my hands, I started balling up blobs of burger to form patties. The texture was a bit sticky but the reason I only used 1 1/2 cups of garbanzo bean flour was that was all I had. I think more could definitely have been used, but the texture wasn't bad and there was sufficient as the burgers held together well when cooked. Anyway, bake the on a greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes at 350F.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chia Seed Puddings

Having read somewhere that chia seeds are rich in vitamin A, for the past three months I've been eating some almost every morning. As soon as I get vitamin A testing again soon, I'll take a break because the other day I was reading that this seed is rich in micronutrients but no one knows the side effects of eating too much and so the recommended limit on a couple health-conscious web sites is to enjoy them regularly for a maximum of three months and then take a break. Hopefully, they will boost my vitamin A in conjunction with regular doses of spirulina, also rich in the vitamin, so that I'll be happy to take a break ... although I have to say, the seeds are wonderfully versatile for a quick breakfast food and I'll miss them when I take that break.

Anyway, my favorite easy breakfast for I'm-a-person-on-the-go is simple and made with these little seeds. I can either make breakfast the night before and have it ready in the fridge or make it in the morning, feed the cat and do a couple other things, and then it's ready to eat. It's simple, tasty and hopefully highly nutritious!!!

Chia Seed Pudding I

1 heaping tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 cup water
4 drops non-alcoholic cherry flavoring (The Spicery Shoppe)
1/2 Granny Smith apple
1 small handful washed almonds/walnuts

Stir all ingredients together (without stirring, the chia seeds will clump into a lumpy gel at the bottom of the dish). Place in refrigerator overnight to "activate" the chia seed nutrients and to soften them from a hard seed to a gelatinous sauce. If in a hurry, soak for a minimum of 15 minutes before eating. The chia seeds are basically flavorless so the other ingredients are what give the "pudding" its flavor.

Chia Seed Pudding II

2 heaping tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 cup water
5 drops stevia (vanilla creme or other choice)
8-10 blackberries
1 small handful washed almonds/walnuts

Make the same way as above. In choosing fruits that are low glycemic, some of the better choices for variation are: Granny Smith apples, cranberries (acidic so use moderately), blackberries, currants, lemons and limes, and cherries. Asian pears, pears, apricots and strawberries are also relatively low too ... but I'm not ready for more than a slice or two of them yet. Other citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are quite low glycemic, but they really mess with candida so I carefully avoid them (even orange peel in a tea makes my throat burn - ugh!)

The following recipe I made for my family members. It's definitely not friendly for the person on the candida diet but while I make my "reduced glucose soy-free recipe" for me, for them I can quickly make a version more appealing to their taste-buds. Preparation: 5 minutes!

Soy Maple-syrup Chia Seed Pudding (non candida friendly)

1 heaping tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 - 1 cup soy milk
1 banana, cut small
optional - other fruit: strawberries, kiwi, pear, apple, peach
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 small handful washed almonds/walnuts

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Zucchini-sauce Pizza

I seem to post a lot on gluten-free pizza. It's not that I make a lot of pizza, but it is that I don't follow a recipe each time but experiment with different ingredients each time, and so the pizza outcomes are very unique and (usually) quite tasty. Since I'm back in Korea, and with an oven in my own home now, I thought I make a pizza, but with ingredients that I can get here. Sigh, I miss our home-made smooth basil pesto. That made the best pizza sauce substitute in the world!

My pizza crust turned out very well, but who would have thought to put riced raw cauliflower in their crust? Or make a zucchini-sauce dressing since tomato sauce is too acidic and store-bought tomato sauce always-and-always has citric acid in it anyways? And who would put the tangy sesame leaves on their pizza? Well, thought I'd do some big time revisions of a typical recipe.

The crust turned out very well. In fact, in appearance it looked like it had been sprinkled with parmesan cheese. In flavor, it was wonderfully full-flavored. In texture, well, in texture I spread it a bit too thick so while the toppings were well-cooked, the pizza dough needed to be put back in the oven another 10 minutes ... that is kind of typical with gluten-free flour mixes; they are heavier and take longer to bake. Ah well.

Since tonight was experimentation night, I didn't bother with measurements. I would tweak all the recipes a bit, but I would definitely change the green topping. The pile of tangy sesame leaves was just too overpowering to the other flavors, and although the minced garlic and olive oil drizzle on top mixed very well with the leaves, next time I'll mix spinach and other greens with the sesame to give a hint of tanginess and not a powerhouse mouthful of tang each time.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Steamed Vegies over Chickpea Soup

The nights I come home to a fresh crockpot of slow-cooked garbanzo beans are my favorite. I am so in love with my Garbanzo Bean "Mashed Potatoes" in both taste and ease in putting a grand spread on! This is the night I'm usually carb-free but with a side-dish of a couple of steamed vegies, a salad of some kind, and a pile of my "mashed potatoes" with an occasional sauce, I feel grand!

Tonight I made the "mashed potatoes" thinner by adding more garbanzo bean broth and a bit more coconut oil and garlic for more of a soup-base "exotic" flavor. Oh yum! A person can't go wrong with this kind of "mashed potatoes"! In a hurry I quickly steamed frozen cauliflower and okra, liberally sprinkled the tops of the vegies with turmeric and sea salt and the meal was finished with a leftover small salad from the fridge. Perfect for an evening out on the town. So toodles till next time!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quinoa Cranberry Muffins

2/3 cup cauliflower - raw, shredded
2 cups quinoa
2/3 cup millet
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 rounded teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons coconut oil (liquid)
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla flavoring
1 Granny Smith apple, diced or shredded
1 cup whole cranberries
warm water as necessary

Whizz dry ingredients (quinoa and millet) to a flour. Pour into a mixing bowl. Add the liquid coconut oil and warm water (otherwise coconut oil will harden) as necessary. Batter should be somewhat thick. Fold in cranberries and apples. Scoop batter into coconut oiled muffin tins. Dust with more cinnamon and/or cloves. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Water Testing with Precipitator: SamDaSoo vs. Chungho Water

Another person, my friend L, responded to my cry of desperation on Facebook related to my reaction to bottled water. L wrote in my inbox that her husband had a precipitator which tested the purity of water and that I should come over right away and test my water. Some time during this morning after I left home, we decided that I should go over to her house today. I went but didn't have a chance to also get a sample of water from my own kitchen and another from my Brita water purifying jug that in desperation I bought at Costco yesterday.

Ergh, I do NOT want to drink tap water that has been "purified" through the little portable Brita jug. I don't trust the purification system, and think the city tap water is too horrendous here in Seoul, especially where I used to live (thank goodness I finally could move in February!). Anyway, I don't want to put tap water in my fragile system as THAT was what initially blew my system -- drinking city water, the divine Arisu that is marketed by our Korean President Lee Myung-bak as drinkable but which made myself and my two cats very sick (one cat died and Aulait and I have been sick sick sick since).

Anyway, my friend L picked up a new bottle of SamDaSoo at a local store and we went to her house to test it against her water from her reverse-osmosis Chungho water purifier.

To use the precipitator for best results, the water needs to be at room temperature. If it's cold, the results won't be accurate as the activating prongs need to heat up the water to room temp before the actual testing may begin. If water is contaminated, the water continues to heat up based on the number of minutes the precipitator is set at. We set the precipitator timer for 5 minutes but in less than 45 seconds a clear difference in the quality of water between the bottled SamDaSoo (left) and the reverse osmosis Chungho water (right) was obvious! If the water is relatively uncontaminated as the Chungho water appears, then the water does not heat up much beyond room temperature ... and the Chungho water didn't whereas the SamDaSoo was getting steadily warmer, and very steadily grosser, Grosser, GROSSER!

The printout for diagnosis of the quality of water based on its color after using the electrolosis devise was in Korean so I had to bring it home to translate.

YELLOW - nutrition (amino acids, organic minerals, 용존oxygen, pure water molecules), nature-born organic matter

WHITE - lead, zinc, mercury/quicksilver

BLUE - copper pipe rust, arsenic, mercury/quicksilver, lead, copper, sodium/natrium

BLUE - germs/bacterium, carcinogenic natural matter, gas

RED - iron/steel bacterium, rust water, iron water

BLACK - heavy metals (zinc, lead, copper, chromium, phenol/carbolic acid, manganese, etc)

YELLOW is the indicator for water registering contaminants under 10ppm and therefore is safe to drink.

Analysis of SamDaSoo Water

Now based on the 5-min electrical activation of the SamDaSoo water as shown here, the colors of the water do not appear to fall anywhere near the safe zone. In fact, very far from it! The water had a scum on top of it that seems to fall under "BLACK" which signifies heavy metals. The water itself is white and colorless. That seems good from a lay-person perspective since the bottle has a 2-year stamp for company considered safe shelf life. But yikes when you consider it! Is the company so confident that no bacterium is in the water and will grow in those 2 years?!?! And just WHAT did they do to the water that would give them such company-product confidence? But now to analyze the "WHITE" - lead, zinc, mercury. OK, we're talking heavy metals a-g-a-i-n!!!!!

Now if we were to analyze this a bit closer, we could cross-compare the disgusting water results with that from a Ionic Detox Foot Bath, which also uses some kind of electrolysis. Foam is not mentioned at all on the chart above but white foam did appear on the SamDaSoo water. What does this signify? And do the two electrolysis tools have overlap in what the gross water appearance tells of the chemical make-up of what is in the water? Hmmm ...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reaction to Bottled Water (Headaches and Numbness)

In January I started to feel poorly again. I didn't really understand but thought maybe it had to do with being bored as I didn't have winter work so I wasn't getting as much exercise as when I'm running around teaching and with papers to grade while trying to accomplish a lot during the week. I was starting to have weird headaches and low energy too. In Februrary I went home for two weeks and felt really good while at home (seems natural!). The headaches disappeared, the achy feeling in my back let up, and I had more energy. OK, I was going home, but still, I didn't exercise much at all at home. It was cold outside and my aging parents are becoming more and more housebound in the winter so we pretty much had a low-energy, low-key 2 weeks together (not my choice of lifestyle). In March when I came back, the headaches started again - mild at first but getting more and more noticeable. Odd, because I've never been one to have headaches and my diet was careful and good.

Then this past week, hell really started. The headaches became really bad and my arms became numb - 5 long days of numbness with the intensity varying throughout the day. I'm not sure when the numbness started as I've had arm problems (pinched nerves, reaction to sugars, swelling at the wrists ...) off and on since this Candida struck. I just try to ignore it if I can, but I've never really experienced anything like this ... numbness in my arms that lasted for days and days and days??? It's been really bad all week, horrendously bad, and to the point where my hands became very weak, especially the left, and it was hard to type, or even hold things. Yesterday was probably the worst - I was walking across my kitchen room with a half-eaten bowl of soup and the bowl just slipped out of my left hand ... SHATTER and SPLAT! My hand didn't even register it slipping!

Then last night before I called my parents I picked up a bottle of Korea's best bottled water, SamDaSoo, what I've principally been drinking since January, that is, since I was on winter vacation and didn't go to work every day and have filtered water, and also because in February I moved away from the subway line and so no longer felt like carrying a bottle of filtered water home every day after work. Anyway, I picked up the bottle and took a good chug on it before calling my mom and another huge headache hit and within seconds numbness descended into my arms and down my back. I REALIZED THE NUMBNESS IS CAUSED BY THE BOTTLED WATER, SAMDASOO. After we talked on the phone, I thought I'd try another bottled water, Seoksu, which I had bought that afternoon. It was so much cheaper so I thought I'd test it out. SAME THING WITH SEOKSU - BIG HEADACHE AND NUMBNESS DOWN THE ARMS!

Yesterday morning before going to church, I posted on Facebook the problem of the numbness caused by bottled water, Samdasoo and Seoksu, and if anyone knew where I could get testing. A colleague (thankfully!!!) did some research for me and suggested that my symptoms fall under arsenic poisoning and that arsenic has been located at toxic levels in many water sources - tap and bottled - throughout the world. On the first website he suggested, I found this statement that matches my symptoms: "When someone is suffering from arsenic poisoning, he or she may first experience headaches. Later, headaches will transform to a lightheaded sensation. Numbness and a tingly feeling in the hands and feet may also occur at the onset of poisoning."

He also wrote: "Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition caused by elevated levels of the element arsenic. The dominant basis of arsenic poisoning is from ground water that naturally contains high concentrations of arsenic. A 2007 study found that over 137 million people in more than 70 countries are probably affected by arsenic poisoning of drinking water.[1] from wikipedia. Seems very possible it can come from drinking water, and from the link above your symptoms match some of the signs."

Then he explained a little about tap water and bottled water: "Although more often found in contaminated ground water, it's also well known that bottled water is no better than tap water in many cases. Often just repackaged tap water with some minor chemical treatments and sold at a profit. There are numerous articles about that." The site he suggested that I read more on is titled "Bottled Water Not Better".

Arsenic poisoning does make sense on another level. In my hair analysis test of January 30 this year, arsenic did register as a toxin. I've never had arsenic show up on my two previous tests, each about 10 months apart. But on this last test, arsenic was the toxin that registered the highest in my body. It registered in the "low range" at 0.102 with 0.3 registering as high ... but for it to show up where it has never registered before does create cause for some concern considering the symptoms.

Yikes! I'm ordering an arsenic poisoning water test kit and testing both my house water AND SamDaSoo so I can perhaps KNOW why I'm reacting so terribly. This is not living!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cashew-Basil Gravy w/ Vegies II

Oh, the Cashew-Basil Gravy w/ Vegies was so good a couple weeks back that I thought I'd make it again but with different vegies. Actually, I used more cumin and turmeric and this came out very much like cashew curries I've eaten in Pakistani and Himalayan restaurants. While I really like the curry effect without using peppers of any kind, I was really wanting that soft sweet subtle hint of basil that so complimented the baby limas, which I also didn't use tonight. The turnip leaves complemented the curry better, and it really was good. I'm not posting any ingredients and certainly not amounts, but here are picts to document and replicate the process:

And then to make a salad. Since a Russian friend came and really pigged out on strawberries which are so expensive back in Sakhalin, I've tried to occasionally nibble a couple of strawberries and expand my diet. I know I could certainly use a little more variety and vitamins in my diet. So, tonight a strawberry baby bok choy salad. And isn't it lovely for a White Day meal?!?! (White Day is celebrated one month after Valentine's Day in Korea and Japan. On Valentine's Day the women give men chocolate, and on White Day men give women candy.)
Strawberry Baby Bok Choy Salad
strawberries, sliced
baby bok choy, cut up
hemp seeds, tossed throughout

Altogether two salads (including a cucumber-dill salad) and the Cashew-Basil Gravy served with brown rice.

And why waste a lot of time just cooking for one meal. I always make a big meal so that after eating supper I can box a meal for lunch the next day ... for work, meeting friends in a restaurant, for travel, boxed lunches are great!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zesty Lime Waldorf Salad

Salad Greens

2 bunches leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
purple cabbage, shredded
1 small sweet onion, sliced thinly
2/3 cup walnuts (soaked 1 hour and drained)
1-2 tablespoons hempseed (garnish per serving)

Zesty Lime Dressing

1/2 lime (juice and zest), sliced and de-seeded
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked 1 hour and drained)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
sea salt
1 - 1 1/2 cups water

Blend the dressing ingredients in a BlendTec till smooth and creamy.

For a complete meal, toss in 4 tablespoons of hempseed per each person's serving (4 tablespoons = a complete protein) and add 1/2 cup of carbohydrates for energy (example - adlay, brown rice, millet or other gluten-free cooked grain).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sublime Supper

Ah, some nights I just want FOOOOOD! And tonight was one of those. Passing several Paris Baguettes I couldn't help but see the golden tops of mounded fluffy white breads decorated with seeds, nuts, cheese, fruit, cream and other sinful stuff. I'm not one controlled by my appetite [thank goodness] but it's kind of like shopping when you're hungry ... you invariably buy more than you would. So on my home, I planned my meal, and MY kind of bread was definitely on the menu.

One hour after getting home, the bread came piping hot out of the toaster oven. [See Gluten-free, Sugar-free Toaster Oven Flatbread for basic recipe.]

While the bread was baking, I tossed together a huge toss salad of lettuce mostly but with sliced cherry tomatoes and a tiny few shavings of carrot for color. No dressing tonight, but instead treated myself to a very rare indeed tiny can of tuna. The tuna flavored the huge salad but did not overpower the vegie flavor; in fact, was a nice complementary treat! I also put a small head of cauliflower and broccoli in the food processor and whizzed them to make a soft granulated texture. Tossed with a tablespoon each of olive oil and lemon and a bit of salt, and garnished with sliced radish (good for the mucus membranes), the salads were complete.

For the main entree, I warmed some Cashew-Basil Gravy w/ Vegies and ladeled that over my Garbanzo Bean "Mashed Potatoes".

And put together, I had a very tasty supper indeed!