Monday, March 25, 2013

Cauli-chicken risotto

Risotto is delicious. Even with cauliflower. On its own, cauliflower can be a bland. Even gross. But in fact there are many great things to be made from cauliflower, including "rice". The recipe below is based on a recipe the google told me about on Cynthia Underground. That's usually how I come up with stuff - google x + paleo and boom: endless inspiration.

So here it is, with my modifications...

Ingredients


  • 1 head cauliflower, riced
  • 1/2 to taste olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion (diced)
  • handful of fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1 C zucchini, diced (I gave it a whirl through the food processor, since it was already out for the cauliflower)
  • 1-2 C cooked chicken, cubed*
  • 1/4 C goat cheese**
  • 1/4 C canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 C chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


The ol' iPad doesn't take the best pics.

Instructions:


  • Make cauliflower “rice” using a food processor.
  • Steam or microwave rice for 5 minutes. Set aside (drain/press out any excess liquid)
  • Use a strainer if necessary to press out any addition liquid. Set Aside.
  • Sautee onion, zucchini, and cilantro in the olive in a large frying pan.
  • Add rice, salt, pepper, milk, and broth.
  • Cook until it starts to reduce, about 10 min, add goat cheese, stir.
  • Add pre-cooked chicken, stir.
*I used meat from a BBQ chicken I picked up at the grocery store the day before. In consideration of the increased histamine content from the meat being left over, I popped a diamine oxidase supplement to be safe.
**I've been indulging in (not aged/old) cheese here and there. 1) It doesn't seem to bother me; and 2) I consider it to be a reasonable consolation for my histamine intolerance.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Brussels Sprout Chips

I definitely make better vegetables now than I ever did pre-paleo. Once you embrace the (good) fat, there are some delicious things you can do with veggies. For the most part, I roast 'em in the oven with evoo with some salt and pepper. Current favourites include broccoli, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. So simple, so good.

I noticed a while back that when roasting brussels sprouts that the BEST part are the few leaves that manage to separate from their sprout. These orphan leaves become crispy and delicious. Chip-like you might say. And let's be honest - is there anyone who doesn't like the odd chip-like experience? I don't think so.

So this is hardly a recipe at all, but just a quick and easy suggestion of what to do with your brussels sprouts. The ones I cooked the other night were beautiful (though it didn't occur to me to take a pre-pic), and although they themselves were not locally grown, I did purchase them from Riverview Country Market.

I probably should have left these in a bit longer, but you get the idea.


Ingredients:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Olive oil (or coconut oil, or whatever fat you like)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Pull leaves off sprouts
  3. Toss 'em with some oil
  4. Lay them out on a lined baking sheet (preferably allowing each his/her own space)
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, watching pretty carefully after the 10 minute mark
I find that whenever making chip-like veggies (sweet potato, kale, etc.), it often pays to leave them in longer that you think (and/or want) to. This gives them more opportunity to crisp-en. For your brussels sprouts, you want to see a good number of brown/black bits before taking them out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Low histamine for the long run / salad dressing discovery

If I'm to be completely truthful, my diet has been less than great lately. It's not only the weight gain that tells me so, but other cues like skin issues, lower energy level, and less *ahem* regularity. If you will allow me, I'll play the low histamine complainer card for just a moment... Oh, to be simply paleo!

In more specific terms, here's my assessment of the problem:
- Working too much, so other (real) life needs going unmet (such as CrossFit)
- Getting bitter about low histamine restrictions
- Getting tired of limited options

As a result of the factors above, I'm:
- Snacking instead of eating proper meals (with few well balanced low histamine + paleo options)
- Not working out enough
- Eating out more than usual (which still isn't a whole lot as compared to pre-paleo, but more than necessary due to depleted lunch stocks in the freezer)
- Letting gluten-free crap (i.e. bread, cookies) creep into diet to make up for missed traditional paleo options (a reaction to the bitterness referenced above)

So what am I going to do about it? I've been tossing around a few approaches in my brain:
  1. Go strict low histamine paleo for 30 days to reset
  2. Re-prioritize where I use my "willing to take my chances eating this high histamine food" credits (e.g. from chocolate to avocado)
  3. Revert some meals (e.g. quick dinners, weekend lunches) to regular ol' paleo (e.g. left over meat, tomatoes, bacon, whatever) with the help of a DAO supplement

For the past two days, I've been taking a combo of approaches 2 and 3. I already feel better and eczema-wise, my skin is (knock on wood) in pretty good shape. One of the "indulgences" as I revert back to some of my pre-low histamine paleo foods includes salad (which may actually seem sad). A salad without vinegar of some kind doesn't do a lot for me. That, coupled with the typical histamine-prone salad additions like less-than-fresh meat, tomatoes, avocado, vinegar, bacon, cheese, etc., had reduced my salad eating to periodic treats while eating out (and accompanied by a DAO pill).

President's Choice makes this delicious lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil. The grape tomatoes are another shouldn't have treat, but I live on the edge sometimes.

I was intrigued when I recently discovered lemon infused extra virgin olive oil. I wondered if this would give my salad enough taste and liquid, more than I'd get from choking down a green salad with only olive oil to dress it. This oil is simply evoo with lemon extract. I realize citrus is (yet another) item on the histamine hit list, but I figure a bit of lemon extract will surely have less impact on my histamine threshold than a good serving of balsamic vinegar. Well it turns out it absolutely does the trick. It's now worth having salads again. It's now worth buying greens again.

And so, having had enough symptoms of deteriorating health to alert me, I'm getting back on track. For now, I don't have a strict 30 in the plans, but you never know. Now that I know it's the histamine intolerance that's causing my eczema, it's actually harder to go really strict low histamine. Rather, I tend to maintain a small amount of rash that is a price worth paying for the most part.

For those of you in the histamine intolerance camp - how have you managed to regulate your diet in a sustainable way? Or perhaps you are more sensitive than I, where any symptoms are too many symptoms and strict is the only way to go.