Fresh herbs can make or break a dish. In the past, we have often used dried herbs as a substitute for fresh herbs. We turned to the fresh variety when we felt it would truly enhance the taste, but we often substituted dried herbs because of the convenience factor, and because we could never use up the entire bunch of fresh herbs before it went bad. But now, after consistently cooking with fresh herbs for a few weeks, we may never turn back. Needless to say we thoroughly enjoy the fact that our refrigerator is constantly stocked with an assortment of fresh herbs, whether it be dill, parsley, cilantro, or thyme.
Archive for the ‘Carrots’ Category
We recently returned home from our global travels, and in many ways our trip was a gastronomic tour of Turkish and Israeli cuisine. We tried our best to sample as many mezes, main dishes, desserts, and other foods that we could fit into our stomachs within a 3-week time span. We were able to stay relatively svelte and fit thanks to walking an average of 8 miles each day. Our goal during the trip was to try all the authentic cultural foods that these two countries offer, and of course, to stay healthy. At times, Marnina was forced to expand her diet either because: 1) a Crohn’s-friendly dish was not available; 2) the language barrier caused confusion that led to Marnina biting into a food stuffed with seeds; or 3) she could not resist the temptation of ordering an authentic dish that contained some form of food that might upset her GI tract. However, thanks to proper plannning (over-the-counter medications, antibiotics, flushable wipes), Marnina was prepared for the worst. Luckily, neither of us got sick from the food and water in either country. It turns out that the water is unsafe to drink in Turkey (even for natives) so bottled water was incredibly cheap. (more…)
Thanks to our friends Nomie and Noah, we recently delved into the world of Korean cooking. Before this particular meal, Marnina and I were completely unversed in Korean food; we only knew that Korean and Japan shared some culinary history and that there is some ingredient overlap. Nomie, who speaks Korean and is very knowledgeable about Korean food and culture, was a capable guide to introduce us to Korean food. And we are very thankful that she was there, because the instructions on all the package labels were in Korean! She informed us that traditionally, rice and/or noodles, and vegetables make up many Korean meals, and that commonly used ingredients include sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Meats or tofu are sometimes added to these dishes too. The basic seasonings make for a relatively salty and spicy meal. (*Be on the look out for a new restaurant guide in which we will be expanding our list of cuisines and how IBDers can navigate these cuisines*). (more…)
Invariably, the onset of cold weather leads Marnina and I (and probably most everyone else) to crave certain foods. Cold smoothies, garden vegetable dishes, and fish with a glass of white wine are replaced with warm soups, hearty chili, red wine and stews. This week, Marnina and I were in the mood for a filling stew that would last us the week – we often spend a large chunk of Sunday night slaving away in the kitchen to prepare our lunches and dinners for the upcoming week. Marnina had picked out a winter veggie stew with Moroccan spices, and after shopping for all the root veggies (we even found some purple carrots!), we were ready to begin the stew…until we realized that the recipe called for a Dutch oven…a tool that we did not have. Instead, we used a large cooking pot that would accommodate all the ingredients, but also require more work to ensure that the stew was evenly seasoned.
As we continue our soup splurge (try saying that 10 times fast), Marnina and I have expanded into adding new kinds of ingredients into our soups: never before have we used fish or pumpkin. And in our continual quest to find IBD-friendly soups, this one is high up on the list. With the salmon, turmeric, and extra virgin olive oil, this soup is an omega-3 and anti-inflammatory powerhouse. As I noted in a previously, omega-3’s can be found mostly in the fat of cold water fish, such as the salmon in this recipe. Omega-3’s are thought to reduce inflammation, and play a number of key roles in improving one’s circulatory system. Research indicates that omega-3’s may be better absorbed from food than supplements, so it is more cost-effective and healthier to just get your omega-3’s from natural food sources. You also have to be wary of some supplements, especially those that are not labeled with a USP (a Dietary Supplement Verification Program that helps dietary supplement manufacturers ensure the production of quality products for consumers).
When Marnina does not eat well one day or feels her stomach “chugging,” she will often resort to an extra low-residue, low-fiber diet until she feels better. Soups often satisfy both of these requirements, especially soups that consist of pureed low-fiber veggies. Dietary fiber, which is found in plant foods, cannot be digested, and residue is the undigested part of plants that contribute to stool. By limiting the amount of fiber and residue, Marnina is reducing the amount of food that passes through her large intestine, which reduces the number of times she needs to run to the bathroom, and reduces abdominal pain. If Marnina wants to eat veggies while she is not feeling well, she makes a special effort to consume only very well cooked vegetables, pureed vegetables, or soups.
Marnina and I are obsessed with the Moosewood Cookbook. It is a recipe book written by Mollie Katzen when she was a member of the Moosewood collective in Ithaca, New York. The cookbook is literally a bible for vegetarian cooks. Even though we are not vegetarians, our animal consumption is limited to Friday night Shabbat dinners and special occasions (mostly because of the high prices of Kosher meat). Every single recipe from this cookbook that we have tried has been superb as are the creative names and illustrations attached to each recipe. We once made a dish from the cookbook called Zucchanoes, which are onion, pepper, and cheese stuffed zucchinis that look nothing like canoes by the time they are out of the oven, but they do float you to food heaven.