Monday, February 14, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf

Valentine's...a day for love. A love of meat! Mmm....meatloaf. It's like meat. In a loaf. With other yumminess. What's not to love?

Unfortunately, a lot of that yumminess is not friendly to an anti-Candida diet. And with all the hidden high fructose corn syrup and other chemicals in many traditional ingredients, most of the rest of us could stand to partake of a healthier version.

I really missed it, but I didn't want to compromise something I had enjoyed so much previously. It took me a long time to find a meatloaf I liked originally (I tend to enjoy beef un-ground), and when I did, I wanted it to be ketchup and Worcester sauce indulgent. Replacing those flavors became a little bit easier when I added yacon syrup to the mix. It gave me back a bit of sweetness that I craved to complement the tomato flavor.

There were a lot of ACD meatloaf recipes to go through, but none of them really captured what I remembered. There were flavors and textures (breadcrumbs, especially) that I just didn't see accounted for. So throwing caution to the wind, I decided to pick some from column A and B, smush it together and throw it in the oven. And the result was...well, meatloaf! Firm but moist, speckled with veggies and topped off with a sweet tomato sauce. It may still be tweakable, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. What do ya'll love in your meatloaf? I'd love to hear ideas to improve this recipe.

But if you would rather just get to the eating, by all means, read on and get in the kitchen! :D

Monday, February 7, 2011

Black Bean Chili

I have a confession.

I hate beans. I have since I was young. They're bland and gritty and just...ew. I've tried to like them, really I have. In college, I learned to tolerate them if they were covered in sinful sugar (aka baked and ranch-style), but with the new dietary restrictions, those went right out the window. But beans are good for you, you say? Believe me, I know. I want to eat more of them.

What about in chili? NEVER! Chili is something I love. Something dear that I have always been appreciative of, whether slow cooked until chunks of beef melted into deliciousness or just that satisfying glob of grease that was scooped from a can. Chili dogs, Frito pie or just on its own with lots of cheese, I wasn't too picky. Well, except for one thing. No beans!

So what on Earth drove me to try a black bean chili? Honestly, I'm not sure. But I have been wanting to eat more beans and I wasn't going to if I didn't start somewhere. I found a recipe in The Mayo Clinic Willians-Sonoma Cookbook that looked doable. I was short a can of black beans, but I did have an extra of chickpeas. I figured stock would add more flavor than water. I didn't have oregano or cilantro, but hey if it was decent I could always try it next time. I was a bit wary about the bell pepper (which I also hate) and celery (which seemed counter-intuitive to what I think of chili as a Texan), but I gave it a go.

First taste, ew. Super bland. I looked back at the recipe only to realize there's no salt listed. I guess that makes sense for a health cookbook, but it also makes for a lackluster chili, in my opinion. Salt added, I tried again. Better, but still missing something. A lime really woke it up. And I couldn't resist trying some yacon syrup in it, as I have a weakness for chilies with just a touch of brown sugar.

Wow. I am genuinely surprised. These beans...aren't so bad actually. I would eat them again. Hell, I have no doubt I'll finish off this pot. I'm actually looking forward to seeing how it ages (as chili tends to improve, for those that aren't as familiar with it). It even excited me to try more chili recipes and see what else I can do to improve it. If ya'll have any ideas (I know some of you make fierce chili), please leave a comment.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Coconut Curry Chicken

First off, I apologize for this picture. It's just a tricky dish to photograph in a bowl. A deliciously tricky one, I might add.

I really try to be adventurous (within the limits of my diet, of course) but there are some dishes that make me nervous. Curry was one of those dishes. I've never found my palate for Indian food, but I figured I should give it another go, as my experience was still limited. Turns out that not all curries are created equal and that some are actually quite tasty.

This experiment also gave me a chance to try out more cooking with coconut oil, which I'm really enjoying. Even the nice virgin variety has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which is most helpful. Plus it's a quite unique saturated fat, one that's benefits seem to be numerous. And I can use it on my skin to boot! Awesome stuff and something that I'll write more about at length some other time. Now it's curry time!