Two amateur cooks explore the world of cooking for a Crohn's and Colitis diet

Posts tagged ‘tofu’

Aromas of India

Does this make your mouth water?

In the IBD Guide to Eating Out, we mentioned that typical Indian restaurants in  the U.S. serve many dishes that are oily, creamy, and incorporate lots of fat (and sodium as well).  In general, individuals with IBD need to be conscientious of the amount of fats/oils in their food, and must also be aware of the amount of spices used.   IBDers should know, however, that almost any recipe can be modified to fit their dietary preferences.  There is always an IBD-friendly version of a dish.  Here, we present you with an alternative to the Indian dish Palak Paneer (farmer’s cheese in a thick curry sauce based on pureed spinach) called Palak Tofu, a vegan twist to the normal recipe.   It tastes very similar to Palak Paneer, but is healthier, less oily, and more protein rich.   The dish is basically tofu cooked in curried spinach, a very healthy dish that goes well with some rice or naan.  You will love the green color, and your house will smell like an Indian restaurant for hours afterward….what could be better?? (more…)

A Venture into Korean Food!

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…)

Thai Basil Tofu Fried Rice

Marnina and I have had our fair share of problems cooking tofu.  The first time we tried making tofu, we got the equivalent of overcooked scrambled eggs.  We have had more success with the firm and extra-firm varieties, but sometimes we have tried stir-frying these tofu varieties and it has crumbled or never fried evenly on all sides.  We have improved slightly by learning some tofu-cooking techniques, such as cutting it into 1-inch cubes and not constantly tossing it once it is in the pan. However, we have never completely ignored tofu because it is able to absorb marinades and seasonings like a sponge.  We especially enjoy using it in strong Asian-flavored stir-fries because it absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish.


Greek Moussaka

One of the first things you might notice from this blog is our propensity to try dishes we have never cooked before, and to experiment with different cuisines.  Similar to the Shepherd’s Pie from two weeks ago, we decided to cook another culture’s traditional dish.  This week, we once again ventured outside of our comfort zone and cooked the most widely known variation of a traditional eggplant casserole dish – Greek Moussaka.  This eggplant based dish can be found in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries, but the most popular version is the Greek version, which traditionally has three layers: a bottom layer of sautéed/roasted eggplant slices; a middle layer of ground lamb cooked with onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes, herbs, and spices; and a top layer of béchamel sauce or egg custard.  Obviously those ingredients are inherently not kosher (mixing milk and meat), and so as usual we made some substitutions.  We hardly had to modify the dish to accommodate Marnina, but for those of you who have trouble digesting veggie skins and/or veggie seeds, we will explain how to make this dish more IBD-friendly.  The end result? An egg, meat and dairy-free conglomeration of healthy foods. (more…)

Our Second Dish – Healthy Spinach Calzones

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…)

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