As foodies, we enjoy learning about different cuisines. Our ethnic culinary adventures have ranged from experimenting with a traditional Greek food to popular Korean dishes. Food was a big part of our travels this past July in Turkey and Israel. We encountered new ingredients and new flavors, and we gained a new perspective on cooking, as well as a renewed respect for specific ingredients. In Turkey, ingredients are simple and unadulterated. There are hardly any incredibly complicated dishes. The natural state of food is heavily emphasized, and this brought us back to the basics of cooking: using fresh ingredients. The Turks often love to take seasonal and local ingredients and cook them with some olive oil and a few spices. This method of cooking brings out the flavors in a way that is not complicated or overwhelming, but just perfectly balanced. (more…)
Archive for the ‘Dairy’ 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…)
We are proud to present Part II of our IBD restaurant guide series! (To view Part I, click here!) The average American eats out several times a week, and those with IBD often have a more difficult time choosing IBD-safe foods at restaurants or even finding a restaurant that meets their dietary needs. In creating the guide, we wanted to provide the “average” IBDer with some practical knowledge of each cuisine, and to give tips on how to navigate a menu and order food when dining and exploring various cuisines. We hope the guide will become a tool for those with IBD to allow them to make smarter choices. We also hope to expand it to include additional information (by no means is this guide an exhaustive review of each cuisine!), and in the future we still plan to add more! Feel free to add your own thoughts about the guide, which cuisine you prefer, IBD-friendly restaurants that you recommend, or even certain dishes that you always order because they are “safe” for you.
Download a printable PDF of the entire IBD Guide To Eating Out by clicking here. (more…)
One of the (many) blessings of Passover is that we see some delicious dishes that are traditionally made only once a year….not from a lack of access to particular ingredients (who doesn’t keep matzah in their pantry year-round??), but because the dietary restrictions of Passover require us to utilize ingredients that we don’t generally use year-round. For many, this means the holiday is the one time a year we see the Passover dishes that we remember our parents making since we were children. This year, Marnina made her mom’s peach kugel that was so good that we were scraping the sides of the 9 x 13 baking dish to salvage all of the caked-on pieces. And for the Seder, my mom made a flanken tzimmes with carrots, sweet potatoes, and prunes – the meat and veggies are slow-cooked with honey and sugar to the point where they are so tender and sweet that they just instantly melt in your mouth (don’t worry, we avoided the prunes at all costs). (more…)
On numerous occasions, Marnina has declared that soufflés are her favorite food. Soufflés combine some of her favorite aspects of food: a savory dish that is soft, easy to digest, has cinnamon (one of her favorite spices!), and is just fun to eat because of its multi-layered nature. The ingredients are almost always on-hand (who doesn’t stock their freezer full of cheese blintzes?!?), and the aroma that wafts out of the kitchen during the baking process is heavenly. The soufflé is like an omelet on puffed-up steroids (PUN INTENDED ); it has an egg base, and while the base provides the flavor, the beaten eggs provide the ‘lift’ during the cooking process. (more…)
Marnina and I enjoy taking traditional, everyday foods and turning them into unconventional creations (see Fake-Sausage Cacciatore and Shepherd’s Pie recipes). Marnina’s dietary needs and my interest in eating healthy foods have produced some unusual combinations of food. Just this past week, we made a spaghetti and tomato sauce dish, except we substituted your typical spaghetti pasta for spaghetti squash, which is more tender than it is chewy. (more…)
Last weekend, Marnina and I wanted to go apple-picking with some friends from Brandeis University. When we arrived, we were told that the apple-picking season was over at this particular orchard due to the substantial amount of rain. Therefore, we ended up going ‘pumpkin-picking’ instead. At first, we were disappointed. But then Marnina mentioned that she had a pumpkin stuffing recipe back home that sounded delicious. I was suspicious at first, mainly because the recipe called for baking an intact pumpkin in our smaller-than-small oven. However, as our neighbors (and our taste buds) can attest, the pumpkin smelled (and tasted) like a slice of heaven. We wandered around the pumpkin patch for about 20 minutes, took some awesome pictures (see below), and painstakingly picked out the smallest pumpkin we could find (6 lbs!).
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.
Every now and then, Marnina and I reminiscence about our lives at Brandeis University. We especially enjoy recalling certain aspects of Brandeis that are etched into our memories. One of our most vivid memories is of delicious cafeteria food (can you sense my sarcasm?). Brandeis food tended to be very friendly to Marnina – they have a kosher dining hall and lots of fish and cooked vegetables. However, after the first 2 months at Brandeis, you could have eaten just about every dish that you would see for the rest of your 4 years of your undergraduate career.
During our senior year at Brandeis University, Marnina and I made veggie calzones using Trader Joe’s herbed pizza dough. We chose Trader Joe’s because the dough was kosher (a necessity!), cheap and delicious. Trader Joe’s has three types of dough—whole wheat, plain (white) and herbed. The calzones were melt-in-your-mouth good, and so we decided to recreate a similar dish using an online recipe. Feel free to make your own dough or use your favorite kind of store-bought dough. Calzones are especially friendly for IBD sufferers because most of the filling is usually cooked (to death!) on the skillet, and then the entire calzone is baked, meaning the entire dish is easier to digest. Plus, veggies are full of antioxidants, and antioxidants improve circulation and digestion and also naturally reduce inflammation in the body. We also try to vary the color of our veggies because different colors provide different types of antioxidants (broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms are a staple in our kitchen). (more…)