27 February 2013

crab cakes with remoulade sauce

yummy and gummable. chop everything finely so there is no worry about chewing!

crab cakes with remoulade sauce

garlic scape remoulade

6 garlic scapes
1 anchovy
2 tbs capers (drained)
2 tsp fresh parsley
2 tsp fresh tarragon
grated zest of a lemon
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
chop the first 5 ingredients all together - i used a mezzaluna on a wooden chopping board for this. combine with lemon zest and add to mayonnaise. stir well. best made a few days ahead so the flavours have time to come together.

crab cakes

2 cups crab meat
1/4 cup milk
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (i needed more, as they were too wet)
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp worcester sauce
butter for frying

combine all ingredients, except the butter. allow to sit for a minute so the crumbs can absorb some of the liquid. shape into patties - the recipe recommended 4 or 6, but i made 8 smaller ones - and place on a tray lightly dusted with breadcrumbs so they're easier to handle. fry in butter, 3-5 minutes each side, until nicely golden.

24 February 2013

baked beans

an obvious classic for people with trouble eating! beans are a great source of iron, protein, and fibre.

baked beans

2 cups white kidney beans
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup chopped onion, sauteed in olive oil
1/2 tsp mustard powder

put all ingredients in dutch oven. cover with cold water to about 2" above the level of the beans. bake at 250 - 300F for about 12 hours. check periodically to make sure they aren't cooking too hard or drying out; add water as necessary.

22 February 2013

zucchini brownies

a tasty treat, with some added fibre! also, zucchini is a good source of vitamin a, folates, manganese, and potassium.

zucchini brownies

3 cups grated zucchini (i grated 3 zucchini)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups butter, melted & allowed to cool
2 cups white sugar
2 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

combine zucchini, eggs, butter, and sugar. stir.

sift in dry ingredients. stir till just combined.

pour in a greased & floured 9 x 13" baking dish. bake at 350f for 50-60 minutes, or till it doesn't jiggle in the middle.

21 February 2013

revelation

i have been super tired for the past week or more. as in, going to bed at 7 o'clock every night tired. i set the alarm for 8:30 and get up for an hour and a half, and then back to bed at 10 o'clock (which used to be normal bedtime for me).

then this morning, it hit me! every spring, i get a terrible wheezing chest cold. the first week of march. like clockwork. so regular, i wondered if it might be a seasonal allergy (although there's not much growing here the first week of march, but it could be leaf mold or something that appears when the snow melts). anyway, i thought i'd be clever this year and head it off at the pass by taking a daily antihistamine (cetirizine) before the sickness hit. antihistamines are known to cause drowsiness.

duh!

starting today, i am going to take it in the evening instead of the morning. i hope i can avoid the wheezing by this preventive measure. i do not want to use an inhaler ever again if i can help it!

in other news, my jaw stiffness is getting better, so i'm going to assume it was just a normal phase in the recovery from the crown lengthening procedure.

20 February 2013

boooo

oh dear.

new wrinkle appeared yesterday: a stiff jaw! if i'm not doing anything, or just talking/mumbling as i normally do, it's fine. if i open wide - as in wide enough for a spoonful of soup - it's sore. chewing hurts too (not that i'm eating anything too chewy - last night's dinner was nachos without the corn chips). it's three weeks now since i had the gum surgery, and a week since i had the filling replaced. why am i hurting now?

and i'm getting stiff/achy in other places as well - lower back, arms, and my old foot injury is reminding me of its existence.

it's frustrating, because i even managed to get a little bit of exercise yesterday (walked 2.5 km to work in the rain), which you would think would be enough to keep my muscles from atrophying but not enough to make me stiff.

ok, that's enough self-pity for today!

18 February 2013

dining al dente

this could be tricky.

i'm having lunch with a couple of old friends. at a pizza place. sigh. i was excited to look at the pizza libretto menu when we made plans to eat here. what to choose! an arugula salad with pear, roasted walnuts, aged-piave, vinaigrette? or this salad sounds good: crispy egg, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, heirloom beets, arugula, pine nuts, pingue prosciutto, ricotta salata. yum. and how about a pizza with duck confit, bosc pear, and mozzarella? or cremini mushrooms, bufala mozzarella , gorgonzola, roasted garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pecorino...

well, i can't chew a pizza crust, so that is all out of the question. as is anything with nuts, or the word "crispy," or fresh arugula. the warm olives are also out, because there will be pits.

most likely candidates: beet caprese salad (heirloom beets, fiore di latte, basil, extra virgin olive oil), meatballs (had meatballs sans pasta for dinner the other night, worked ok), arancini with smoked ham, tomato sauce, grated grana padano?

i bet i can get through some of the desserts too, tiramisu is mushy, granite is mushy, gelato is an obvious choice.

but "chocolate-amaretto budino" - what exactly is that? "chocolate-amaretto" sounds like my kind of thing, but i have no idea what a "budino" is, texture-wise.

17 February 2013

struggling

this has been the week of the crash.

every day, i've been ready for bed at 7 o'clock! and famished. it has been a real struggle not to just eat ice cream every day, a struggle which, let's be honest, i'm losing. it's a combination of having difficulty finding things to eat, and also the whole "i'm sick so i deserve treats" mentality, which leaves me inevitably unsatisfied.

on friday i forgot my vitamins in the morning, big mistake. it is more important than ever that i take them! what i really need though, i think, is a vitamin for fibre. ha. our healthfood store is out of barley (and barley porridge with sunflower seeds and dried apricots was my lifesaver before!), so that's a drag. i do have red river cereal on hand though, i need to start eating that more.

another part of the problem is having the "same old same old" is an appetite killer. i read an interesting article on the three types of hunger the other day, and i think i am right now in the throes of all three. i want comfort, i need nourishment, and i can't keep up. argh.

one thing i am thinking, though, is i need to get more exercise. it's hard when it is so cold and icy! but exercise will hopefully boost my appetite enough that i will get over the "ugh not more yogurt" feeling and just eat it.

also, i've made some flavourful soups that i hope will do the real trick.

16 February 2013

white bean & kale soup with italian sausage

here's another tasty, nutritious soup, suitable for people with braces if you chop the kale into the tiniest pieces and break the sausage into tiny pieces as well!

white bean & kale soup with italian sausage

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp chili flakes
3 lg onions (i used 2 medium-large and 1 ginormous one), minced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 kilo italian sausage, squeezed out of the casings in little bits
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 lg cans diced tomatoes
4 cans white kidney beans, rinsed well
1 bunch kale, chopped and washed
8 cups liquid (water, or water + chicken stock, or add some white wine)
salt & pepper to taste

heat the oil over medium flame in a GIANT pot. add the chili flakes; swirl until they give the oil a bit of colour. add onions, sautee a few minutes till translucent; add garlic and cook a few minutes more. add sausage and herbs, stir and let simmer about 10 minutes. add tomatoes in their juice, simmer a little while longer, then add the well-rinsed beans (really rinse them well!)

bring a separate pot of water to boil and blanch the kale (to get rid of the bitterness). drain the kale and add to the big pot.

finally, add the stock/water/whatever and simmer until all is well combined (say another 15 minutes). season to taste with salt and pepper.

15 February 2013

sweet potato, white bean, and swiss chard soup

thought it would be a good time to look up all my recipes for the toothless, and realised i have almost nothing posted here! whoops. i thought i had posted a bunch of recipes when i first got my braces, and had difficulty eating anything. will definitely start moving a bunch over from my other blog, which is more about crafty stuff and has many tasty, crunchy, chewy, unhealthy recipes besides.

for a start, here is something i will be making this weekend. this weekend is going to be a soup extravaganza! also thinking about borscht and squash/pear soup (based on what's rotting in the fridge, and what's coming in our next veg box).

sweet potato, white bean, and swiss chard soup

1/2 cup dry small white beans (i think they were navy beans?)
a sprig of fresh rosemary
1 onion, chopped
3 or 4 small sweet potatoes (mine were kind of small - you need enough to make about 2 cups mashed
4 big cloves of garlic
1 tbs olive oil
salt & pepper
1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed, ribs cut out, and roughly chopped
4 cups stock (chicken, veg, whatever - i used vegan onion bouillion cubes)

combine the beans with rosemary and onion in a stock pot, cover with lots of cold water. let soak for 6+ hours (overnight works)

cut sweet potatoes into chunks of about an inch maximum. toss with garlic and olive oil in a baking dish; season with salt & pepper. bake for 1 hour at 325F.

while potatoes are roasting, simmer the beans over low heat. about 5 minutes before the potatoes will be ready, add the chard.

mash the cooked potatoes; add to the stock and puree until smooth. drain the beans/chard, pick out the rosemary, add the potatoes/stock to the beans.

cook all together over medium heat for about 15 minutes.

oh, canadian february.

this morning, in the spirit of getting exercise as well as avoiding library late fees, i walked a few blocks to the library and took the bus from there.

holy moly! i had to really watch my step, as it is so icy out. i got my heartrate up out of pure fear, despite going slowly. definitely no outdoor exercise for a little while.

the good news is, last night i went out for sushi, and successfully ate some plain sashimi: salmon, butterfish, and eel. managed to get 74 g protein for the day, which is a lot! today i brought a tin of sockeye salmon for lunch, which should be doable, and so by lunch time i'll have had 900+ cals and 60+ g of protein.

low on a bunch of vitamins/nutrients though.

tonight, pork chops and green beans are on the menu. i won't be able to manage a pork chop, but will bake potatoes in the skin (fibre! i just have to cut it into tiny pieces), and i bet if i overcook some green beans i will be able to eat those, too. that will get me up to 12 g of fibre at least.

and, i need to remember to check the health food store for barley flakes when i'm there next. porridge cooked with sunflower seeds and dried apricots was a big hit when i had the braces.

14 February 2013

oh boy.

so, i got a patch on monday, from a dentist (not my own) who thought it was imperative to start the "post and core build-up" (or words to that effect) right away, as the tooth was falling apart.

yesterday i saw my own dentist, who says i still have a lot of healing to do from the gum surgery. they actually carve away the bone, so it takes a full eight weeks to recover. he replaced my filling.

"is this any different from the filling that failed?" i asked.

"no, but that may have been due to pressure from the dressing on your gum, which is gone now."

hmm.

i am not confident that this new filling won't break.

i can't stop thinking about when this tooth first started breaking, 6 years ago, at the end of my pregnancy. it broke 4 times before i went on a liquid diet, because i couldn't bear the idea of getting yet another temporary filling. the day after i had the baby, it broke again (i was eating pasta! not crunchy or chewy at all!) but i was finally allowed to get it properly fixed.

so, i'm going to go on the liquid diet again. glad i was ravenous in january, i need all the padding i can get to keep from being ms. gaunt as i was when i first got the braces. the hard part, will be getting enough protein to keep from losing too much muscle, and enough energy to exercise to hold onto that muscle.

11 February 2013

poor me

it's been a bit of a rough year. and barely started!

i haven't been able to ride my bike much, due to the weather, and my own health - it's the year of the chest cold.

and having chest colds has made me not want to wear my retainer. retainer and coughing just don't go together so well. after a chest infection in december, i went weeks without my retainers. but when i tried them in january, i was very happy to see they went in no problem, and without discomfort! maybe the tooth-shifting has really stopped!

but.

then the troubles began. the tooth that broke so often at the end of my pregnancy broke again. a couple of weeks ago, i had a root canal and gum surgery - what they call a "crown lengthening procedure" - as preparation for doing a bridge (rather than an implant) to fill a gap that couldn't be closed with orthodontia (thank you, extra-thick jaw bone). i was told to come back in eight weeks, after the gum had healed.

but.

on saturday a little chunk fell out of that tooth, a wedge like a small piece of pie.

yesterday, i lost another chunk. now i'm having periodic pain that shoots into my ear.

seeing the dentist at 12:30. eating early lunch now, on the assumption that i won't be able to eat later.

i'm afraid i'm going to end up on a liquid diet again, like the last weeks of my pregnancy when this tooth started acting up, or when i first got my braces in 2010.

not looking forward to it! i just want this to be over.

ok, i think i'm finished with my pity-party. for now.