Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bow-Tie Pasta with Butternut Squash Sauce

I love pasta and therefore am always on the hunt for new pasta sauces.  I found this when googling Butternut Squash recipes.  I had never tried Butternut Squash and wanted to try something new.   This turned out to be pretty good (the hubs really liked it!).   You can't go into it having any preconceived ideas of what pasta sauce should taste like, because this is very different... but that's part of the fun.... more variety in our limited IC-Diet! I had garlic bread and green beans on the side.   Was a great well-rounded meal!
Bow-Tie Pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
1 Medium sized Butternut Squash
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 small Yellow Onion
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Dried Sage
1/4 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter
1/4 tsp Salt

Cook pasta according to package.  Cut Squash into 1 inch cubes.  Chop Onion into small chunks.  Cook onions in oil until clear.  Add Sage, Garlic, and Salt. Add Squash and water.  Cook about 15 minutes until squash is soft.  Transfer to blender and blend.  Add more water if you want thinner. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pear Smothered Pork Chops

This was one of the first recipes I cooked that I loved after being diagnosed with IC and is a pantry staple now.   I had no experience cooking with pork before.  Learning how to cook new meats has really offered me variety in a diet that is so restrictive.   I got this recipe from the cookbook, A Taste of the Good Life by Beverley Laumann.  
 2 center-cut pork loin chops
1/4 tsp ground sage
dash salt and pepper
2 large, firm-ripe pear (original recipe calls for 1, but I like lots of pears so used two)
2 Tbsp. unsulphured molasses
2 Tbsp flour
1 Cup water

In a skillet, brown pork chops in olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper if desired.  Remove chops to casserole dish.  Sprinkle sage on chops.  Peel and slice pear, placing slices on top of chops.  Combine flour with small amount of water to make a paste, then add to cup of water (about 2 Tbsp).  Add molasses to water and mix well.  Over low heat, pour liquid into hot skillet, scraping up browned bits of pork chops.  When slightly thickened, pour sauce over chops, cover, and bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blueberry & Pear Smoothie

What to do when you're craving a Summer Smoothie, but are so limited by the fruits you can eat?  Make a smoothie with the two fruits you can eat... Blueberries and Pears!  When making this, I wasn't sure if it'd be any good, but turns out it is rather refreshing and yum.   And Blueberries and Pears are full of nutrients that are great for your body!
1 Cup Milk
2 Cups Ice Cubes
1/2 Cup Blueberries ( used fresh)
1/2 Cup Pears (I used canned, all I had)
1 Tbsp Honey

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.   Makes 2 glasses.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Creamy Spinach Pasta

I finally created a spinach pasta and sauce that I liked (been trying a while).  I think the garnish of Feta Cheese really adds that needed extra zing so don't hold back!
3 Servings Linguini (or other pasta of your choice)
2 Cups packed Fresh Spinach
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1/2 tsp Minced Garlic (= to 2 fresh cloves garlic)
1/2 pint Whipping Cream (about 1 1/2 Cups)
1/4 Tsp Kosher Salt
Feta Cheese to Garnish... about 1/3 Cup depending on how much you want

Cook pasta per instructions on package.   Melt butter in a saucepan and add the flour, mixing until creamy.  Slowly add the Whipping Cream, Minced Garlic, and Salt while whisking.  Cook over medium heat continuing to whisk until creamy.   In a separate pan, saute the Spinach in Olive Oil until wilted (just a few minutes).  Add to Sauce before serving and mix well.     Add any additional flour to thicken more if desired (will thicken upon standing too).   Pour Sauce over Pasta and Garnish with Feta Cheese.  I served with Cheesy Garlic Toast

Yields 2 large or 3 regular servings

Cheesy Garlic Toast

An added treat to any main dish!  I have been making homemade garlic bread for a while and only recently thought to add cheese.   Certainly made it taste even better, but also added to the calorie count.   Feel free to keep the cheese off if you're watching your waistline.  
French Bread Loaf (I buy the mini kinds)
Minced Garlic (or Garlic Powder)
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Cut bread in half lengthwise.   Butter the top of each piece.   Sprinkle Minced Garlic, then Mozzarella, then Parsley.   Bake at 400 for about 5-7 minutes.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Chicken Stir-Fry

This is my first attempt at Stir-Fry inspired by the delicious Soy Sauce Substitute I made the other day.   Easy and's going to be a staple for sure!!
Boneless Chicken Strips
1 bag frozen mixed Vegetables
White Rice (as much as you desire)
1 Cup Soy sauce Substitute
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Sprinkle Garlic Powder
Sprinkle ground Ginger
2 Tsp Cornstarch

Cook Rice per instructions on packet.  Meanwhile, cook Chicken in skillet with 1 to 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, 4 Tbsp Soy Sauce Substitute, 1 tsp Cornstarch and sprinkle with Garlic Powder and Ginger.   When Chicken is done, remove and set aside.   Cook Vegetables in same skillet adding all but a couple Tablespoons of the Soy Sauce Substitute, 1 tsp Cornstarch, and sprinkle again with Garlic Powder and Ginger.    Cook until Vegetables are hot and sauce is creamy (about 6 minutes).   When Vegetables are almost done, add the chicken again and stir together.    Serve over the White Rice.   I garnish with the remaining Soy Sauce Substitute (cause it's sooo yummy!)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Creamy Eggs

I love breakfast and I love eggs.   Shortly before being diagnosed with IC, I had started cooking and loving my scrambled eggs with sour cream.  I was heartbroken when I had to give them up.  This is my alternative that turns out to be just as good and possibly better.   I had these tonight for dinner with pancakes.   Doesn't get better than that!
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp Cream Cheese
Sprinkle Salt

Mix eggs and cream cheese in a non-stick skillet.   Cook over medium heat, scrambling continuously until desired consistency.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuna Patties

Yum-yum!  These met the sisters approval and isn't too tuna-y tasting.

1 Can Tuna (Make sure ingredient list is Tuna & Water only)
2 English Muffins (I use Nature's Own, it has no preservatives)
1 Egg
5 Saltine Crackers, crushed
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Dried Parsley
Olive Oil
Sliced White American Cheese

Drain Tuna.  In a bowl add Tuna, Egg, and Crackers.  Sprinkle with Onion, Garlic Powder,  & Parsley (more or less per your taste).   Form into 2 patties.   Grill in Olive Oil on Stove top until golden brown on each side.  While grilling, toast English Muffin.  Add Cheese to patty during last minute of grilling until melted.   Add the patty to the English Muffin.   I eat with Lays Wavy Chips.

Yields 2 patties. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I had some extra spinach and chicken, so I did an ingredients search on Allrecipes and found this gem.  I substituted Cottage Cheese for the Mayo to make it IC Friendly.  I also left out wrapping it in bacon since I haven't tested bacon yet and wasn't feeling brave.  Feel free to add if it's safe for you.

1/2 cup Cottage Cheese (substitute for mayo)
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tsp Minced Onion
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Dash Rosemary 
Dash Salt
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix cottage cheese, spinach, feta cheese, garlic, and onion until well blended. Set aside. Carefully butterfly chicken breasts, making sure not to cut all the way through. Sprinkle the chicken with rosemary and salt.  Brown Chicken in olive oil on stove-top first.   Spoon spinach mixture into chicken breasts. Secure with a toothpick. Place in shallow baking dish. Cover. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear.

Macaroni and Cheese

I'm not a huge Mac-n-Cheese fan, but my husband sure is.  Since boxed Mac-n-Cheese are out, I make this one from scratch when I want to make him happy.  You can use any IC-Friendly Cheese (like American).  I had a bunch of extra Mozzarella so I used that.   It wasn't as creamy of a cheese, but still tasted really good... and the hubs was very excited.   


1 cup dried elbow macaroni (I used Penne cause that's what I had on hand)
1 teaspoon onion powder(if can tolerate)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese (or any IC Friendly Cheese)
1 Tsp Dried Parsley
2 Pinch Salt

Cook pasta in unsalted water about 10 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain well.

Meanwhile, for cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter and stir in onion powder and flour. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Add American cheese, stirring until melted.  Add Parsley and Salt. Stir in cooked pasta. Transfer mixture to a 1-quart casserole dish.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 4 side dish servings.

Cinnamon-Roasted Almonds

I'm seven months pregnant and I like snacks!   These are super-easy to make and yummy.  I also read that almonds are high in Folic Acid, good for pregnant woman, so I don't feel guilty having a little more than my share.   I found this recipe on Allrecipes and adjusted per the reviews.
1 Egg White
1 Tsp Vanilla
4 Cups Whole Almonds
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Salt

Preheat oven to 250.  Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.  Lightly beat the egg white; add vanilla and beat until frothy but not stiff.   Add the nuts and stir until well coated.  Mix the Sugars, Cinnamon, Salt, and sprinkle over the nuts.  Toss the coat and spread evenly on the pan.

Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool and store in airtight containers.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Soy Sauce Substitute

Oh how I miss my beloved soy sauce... but this sauce makes up for it!!  It's sweeter and not as strong as soy sauce, but SO GOOD.  I gobbled it up with Turkey Cabbage Rolls and white rice.  Looking forward to trying it with some Stir-Fry recipes in the future.  I found it here

1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp Molasses
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Clove Garlic, skin removed
1/5 of an onion (yep, just a small amount)
1 Tsp Salt

Add all the ingredients together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to about half the liquid.  Remove the Garlic and Onion.  Store in Fridge.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beef Kabobs with Spring Veggies

Delicious and colorful, these are always sure to please.  My Dad was a big Kabob fan and making these reminded me of him, a master griller.   Recipe found here with a few vegetable substitutions.   
1 lb Cubed Beef
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Yellow Zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Vidalia Onion, cut into 1-inch pieces (if you can handle)

Marinade (I doubled this)-
4 tsp Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Water
1 clove of Garlic, minced
4 tsp organic Honey
2 tsp fresh Parsley

In a bowl combine all the marinade ingredients and stir well to combine and mingle the flavors.  Thread the Beef and Vegetables on skewers.   Soak in marinade for at least half an our (or even overnight if you are preparing dish ahead of time) in the fridge.  Remove from fridge and place over medium temperature grill.  Grill for about 10 minutes depending on how hot your grill is and how well done you prefer your steak to be; turn every 2 minutes until complete. 

Scalloped Potatoes

I just made these tonight with Steak Kabobs and I'm pretty sure its my favorite potato recipe ever!  Wow, wow, wow!    I got this recipe here and the only thing I added was the pepper and parsley.   Even my picky Mom raved about them.  Superb!
3/4 Cup Butter
1/3 Cup Flour
3 3/4 Cup Milk ( I used skim)
4 to 5 large White Potatoes
2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Parsley  

In a large saucepan melt butter.  Remove from heat and stir in Flour.  Return to heat and add Salt, Pepper, Parsley.  Add milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir til thick and bubbly.  Cook 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.  Cool 10 minutes.

Peel potatoes and slice 1/8" thick.  Add to sauce mixture.  Stir and coat potatoes thoroughly.  Pour into greased casserol dish.  Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Remove lid and bake an additional 30 minutes.

(I halved the recipe and it served 3)

Spinach & Broccoli Salad with Homemade Croutons

The biggest challenge I had in making salads after diagnosed with IC was Salad Dressing and Croutons... the two best parts of a salad!!   I read a lot about using Cottage Cheese as a salad dressing on IC message boards, but admittedly had an unnatural fear of Cottage Cheese.  Something about the curds really freaked me out.   So the first time I made a salad dressing I took Cottage Cheese, Dill, Onion Powder and put it in the blender to smooth out the curds.   It was delicious!!  And now that I've been eating Cottage Cheese for a while, I have gotten over my fear of the curds and can eat it without blending first.

Making Homemade Croutons is so much easier than I thought and just as good.   I literally made these the same time I made my salad and then just stuck them in the freezer to cool them off for about a minute before adding them to my salad.

In making a salad, salad dressing, or croutons... the only thing that holds you back is your own imagination (or in my case,  fear!).  Play with vegetables and friendly spices to find something you like.   Here's one of my favorites.  Not many ingredients, but was all that I had in my refrigerator today.   And as I sit here now, my belly is smiling because it was quite tasty and I feel good knowing I had a healthy lunch!

For Croutons-
1 slice of Bread (I use the heel), cubed
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Dried Parsley
For Salad-
2 Cups packed fresh Spinach
1 Cup Broccoli, chopped
1 Tsp Dill (more or less per your taste)
For Dressing-
1/4 Cup small curd low-fat Cottage Cheese

For Croutons-
Preheat oven 475.  Pour Olive Oil, Garlic, and Parsley in a small bowl.  Mix Bread squares in the mixture.   Place on a cookie sheet and bake about 5 minutes.  
For Salad-
In a bowl, mix together spinach and chopped Broccoli.    Top with Cottage Cheese, Croutons, and sprinkle with Dill.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

White Chocolate Buttery Cookies

COOKIES!!!  Who needs chocolate when you can have these dreamy white-chocolate cookies?  Heaven.   I found this recipe on the ICN Message boards.  The only thing I changed was adding 1 bag instead of 2 bags white chocolate chips.  
2 Cups Butter
2 Cups Dark Brown Sugar (I used light brown)
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2 Tsp Vanilla
3 Eggs
5 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Bag White Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350.   Beat together all ingredients except White Chocolate.   Add White chocolate and blend well.   Spoon cookie dough on a cookie sheet and bake approximately 10 minutes.

Yields about 3 dozen (trust me, you'll want this many!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sweet White Pizza

I've tried three different IC Friendly Pizza recipes and came up with this one that is a combination of my favorite parts of each.  It can be easily changed to adapt to your taste by adding and subtracting vegetables. However, I would suggest trying this recipe as-is because it is so good!
Boboli Original Pizza Crust (I can handle this one w/ Prelief, but you can also make a simple crust from scratch which I have done before)
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Tsp Minced Garlic
3Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Cornstarch (to thicken sauce)
1/2 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
1/4 Cup Fresh Spinach
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil
1/4 Cup sliced Black Olives
1 Small Onion chopped
1-2 Tsp Brown Sugar
Sprinkle dried Oregano

To make the sauce, combine Cream, Garlic, 1Tbsp Butter, and Cornstarch.  Heat in pot until until thickened.  Add sauce to pizza crust.   Caramelize the onions by sauteing in 1 tbsp butter until golden.  Once Golden add another tablespoon butter and Brown Sugar.   Cook until all brown sugar has melted.   Add the onions, Black Olives, most of the Mozzarella, Spinach, Basil, the rest of the Mozzarella, Feta, and finally sprinkle with Oregano.   Bake at 450  for 8-10 minutes.