Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chicken Pomegranate Stir-Fry

The pomegranate in this recipe makes the sauce extra tangy sweet and delectable! It's perfect for this time in the season. Pomegranate makes a wonderful alternative to cranberry sauce at the Thanksgiving meal as many of us can't have some of the ingredients in the sauce, not to mention it looks so beautiful. So, don't let the extra pomegranate go to waste! Introduce it to your family if they've never tried it before. Most pomegranates, like pineapples, come with carving instructions. I hope you like it as much as I do, considering it's one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet. Enjoy!

4-5 chicken tenderloins, cut into bite size pieces
1 shallot
1/2 each yellow, orange, green bell peppers, cut into 1/2 strips
1 fresh broccoli stalk, crown removed, stems cut into pieces
1 shredded carrot
8-10 pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups white rice, steamed or prepared as directed on package
sunflower seeds, if desired

Place chicken pieces in a wok or large sauteeing pan and brown all sides while stirring occasionally over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed or until chicken is no longer pink in the center, approximately 8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except rice and sunflower seeds and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes to let juices flavor and soften the vegetables. Top rice with vegetables and sauce. Top with sunflower seeds, if desired, for extra crunch.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Migraine Research Foundation

As much as we know about migraine, there is still so much to learn. We have barely cracked the surface in many respects, and one of the best ways learn more is through research. If you wish to support an outstanding organization, why not choose a non-profit organization with a full medical advisory board - one that funds research dedicated to making our lives easier? 

The debilitating pain of migraine strikes 1 in 10 – including children and a disproportionate number of women – and is one of the world’s most disabling illnesses. Migraine disease affects more Americans than diabetes and asthma combined, yet funding for migraine research lags far behind. There are an estimated 36 million individuals who suffer, and about 14 million suffer chronic migraine, when attacks come nearly daily and are especially severe. That is why the Migraine Research Foundation exists. MRF is the only non-profit whose sole purpose is to fund innovative migraine research. All of our operating costs are covered, so every contribution directly funds research.

Just imagine if every sufferer and everyone affected by migraine made a contribution to research - we could make real progress toward eliminating this scourge that destroys lives and eats up scarce resources. It is time to take destiny into our own hands. If we don’t, who will? The Migraine Research Foundation has funded 24 grants in just 4 years. But there’s so much more to do. By helping research scientists discover the root causes of migraine and determine how to treat them, the Migraine Research Foundation hopes that everyone who suffers from migraine will have an effective treatment that they can count on to allow them to live a healthy, happy, and productive life, and we are determined that one day, we will find a cure. Help make a difference by making a contribution. Every dollar counts, even if it is just one:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spicy Quesadillas

1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons green olive juice
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons flour
4 or 5 flour tortillas

In a medium saucepan combine green pepper, jalapeno peppers (for less spice remove the seeds first), garlic and shallots, along with butter and one tablespoon olive oil. Saute' over medium heat until vegetables are tender. While vegetables are heating, saute' chicken pieces, salt, cayenne pepper, green olive juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat just until chicken is completely cooked, but still moist. When vegetables are ready in the saucepan, whisk flour and chicken stock together with a fork, then add to vegetables to make a paste in the pan, stirring with the fork. Add milk slowly, constantly stirring, until mixture in the pan is at a thick queso consistency (keep it very thick so the quesadilla isn't too runny). Add chicken to the mixture. Stir and remove from heat.
Heat a frying pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Fill flour tortillas on one side with the mixture, then fold the other side on top (the flour tortillas will be folded in half over the vegetable mixture). Grill each side of the quesadilla on the griddle. Serve hot.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sausage & Tomato Cream Farfalle

I know it's been awhile since I posted anything. Here is an extra tasty recipe! If you can't eat tomatoes, you can use my "creamy noodles" sauce recipe and modify it by adding sausage along with more milk and/or chicken stock and more cream cheese. For either recipe, BE SURE TO USE THE CORRECT SAUSAGE.

1 Hormel all-natural sausage (or an equivalent minimally processed sausage with no MSG or preservatives)
2 small to medium size shallots, chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock or water
2 ounces cream cheese
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes or two to three fresh tomatoes finely chopped
12 ounces tomato paste plus 12 ounces water
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
7-8 ounces farfalle pasta

Brown sausage and shallots together in skillet over medium high heat; drain. Pour chicken stock in skillet to loosen everything on the bottom of the pan. Add cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Reduce heat and add remaining ingredients. Simmer for approximately thirty minutes and add water/stir as needed to keep sauce at desired consistency. While sauce is simmering, cook pasta as directed on package.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

No time to cook?

You may have noticed that I've been lagging a little with the posts. That's because I've been working...a lot...and researching, and spending time with my children, among life's other activities. While trying to keep up with my busy schedule, I found it difficult at times to follow the diet. I'm sure many of you are faced with the same dilemma. Many of these weeks I was able to cook all of my meals on Sunday, or Saturday, whichever worked best with my schedule, and freeze them until I could thaw them for my family and I to enjoy near dinner time. For lunch, I would simply pack a lunch for the next day before going to bed every night. This worked really well for awhile, until my job required me to work on Saturdays too, and then on Sundays I had activities with extended family, so my whole week's worth of meals was blown because I couldn't cook. What do you do when you simply can't prepare meals? I had to learn to be creative, and it took a little time to become acclimated to the foods available to me because I was so used to cooking. Here are a few tips:

1) Visit a grocery store salad bar. You are able to choose your own toppings, healthier lettuce and vegetables instead of what you typically find in salads prepared for you, and you can grab it and go! Plus, you can grab as much or as little as you want, along with some fruit if you like.

2) Subway has a great tuna sandwich on flatbread with only mayonnaise, no onions. I learned about this from a fellow migraine sufferer. You can also enjoy their veggie sandwich on flatbread.

3) Don't be afraid to make eggs for dinner. They cook very fast and provide lean protein. Serve with vegetables and whole grain bread. Serve with fruit too if you like!

4) My taco recipe cooks very fast. To make it faster, leave out the shallots and add a little more garlic powder. Don't forget the cumin!

5) Kids don't mind having cereal for dinner (healthy cereal) - in fact they'll love you for it. It has calcium, whole grains and protein if served in milk. Serve some fruit with it and you have a great meal.

6) Fruits and vegetables don't HAVE to be cooked. Kids will eat raw fruit as a treat, and we should too. They'll also eat raw vegetables if dipped in ranch, so make plenty of my ranch dressing to have on hand for healthy eating.

7) Chipotle isn't too bad as fast food restaurants go either. Their food is made without by-products and hormones. Avoid the Barbacoa and limit the onions and salsa, and your meal shouldn't be too bad for you. Oh, don't forget to avoid the sour cream too. I wouldn't do this too often, though. Save it for a once-in-awhile treat, maybe after your headaches are fairly well under control. Their meat is basically still seasoned and marinated. However, it is much better than "fast food," as it is quality food, from what I can tell.

8) Maybe you have time in the morning but not later in the day? Put a pot roast in the crock-pot, or vegetable-beef stew, or anything else you have a recipe for, so that it is ready for you when you come home.

Take food with you when you can't cook, and when you only have a little bit of time to cook, cook something fast. I found myself cheating too much a couple of times, and I wound up in bed. Don't let this happen to you.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

There's Something Wrong, Here

I've been trying to write a post for a few weeks now, but every time I began writing, it wouldn't turn out right. Maybe it's because I'm trying to get to the heart of the matter - our food system. When I tell people that food makes a difference in how they feel, I usually receive a response like this, "Oh, I tried changing my diet and it made no difference for me." The problem is that chemically and biologically, this doesn't make sense. What we put into our bodies does make a difference in how we function.

Our bodies aren't trash cans and can't continually process waste. Food that has been chemically altered from its original state is seen by our bodies as waste, and they don't know how to digest this food, or correctly form it into nutrients. Yes, I'm talking about MSG. When a protein cell is taken apart and any part of it is altered in some way to be used for some other purpose in food, be a little wary. In some instances, this might be okay, but generally not. Our bodies like whole parts of foods. This is why it's important to not eat boxed foods or ready-prepared meals, and not eat food with flavorings. Read Heal Your Headache for a better explanation. Visit

Did you know that if you eat a lot of fermented, yeasty, or sugary foods, or if you've taken antibiotics recently, you have most likely killed the good bacteria in your digestive tract? This bacteria helps regulate your immune system, and it helps your body process foods better. So, with proper diet (and healthy bacteria in your digestive tract), your body is more able to handle the foods you are intolerant to (migraine triggers). Since we can't have yogurt, it's a good idea for us to take a probiotic supplement daily.

Not all raw meat is created equal. The raw hamburger available at most grocery stores does not come from just one cow, but rather parts of many cows from possibly several different areas of the country. Surprised? Cows are fed a diet of antibiotics, growth hormones and corn among other things, as well as hay or grass. Then, after some other stops, they are shipped to huge feedlots (with cows from other farms), slaughtered, and the meat is all mixed and processed together to be shipped to your store. Chickens are kept in huge chicken houses where they don't have enough room to roam (and don't know any better) and fed growth hormones so that their breasts are bigger (because we all like white meat). Then, some of it is injected with a broth solution containing MSG during processing. Buy organic grass fed beef, organic milk and butter, organic free range eggs, and chickens raised without growth hormones if at all possible. Eat less meat and more fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Watch the film Food, Inc. and read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.

Caffeine may seem like it helps in the short run, but it constricts blood vessels and then they rebound back, possibly to a larger size than they were before. Energy drinks have become a norm in this country, and it scares me, especially since I see so many teenagers drinking them.

Remember, trigger foods do not have to cause a headache every time they're eaten or the same day they're eaten. They can wait to cause havoc for up to two days. This can make them hard to pinpoint. Also, it's important to eliminate all triggers (listed in Dr. Buchholz's book Heal Your Headache, the 123 Program for Taking Charge of Your Pain) at once, otherwise the foods not eliminated would still be in your body causing you pain while you eliminated that one. Eliminating one trigger at a time doesn't work.

There's something wrong, here. I'm tired of seeing so many people in pain, suffering. The foods available to us are way too flavored, processed, and unhealthy. The problem is, this is America, a free country, something I wouldn't change for the world, and that's what consumers are buying. I wonder, though, do people really know how unhealthy these foods are? Do they realize that fat-free and low-fat foods have MSG added to them to make them taste better, and that our bodies actually need fat to function? It's the sugar and preservatives that cause problems, not the fat. I think people are trying to make the healthier choice, because it is and should be their choice, but they just don't know what the healthier choice is.
Eat pure foods. Simple.