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Turkey Tracks: Food!

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April 17, 2020

FOOD!

I will never go hungry because I have not cooked for myself.

Back in the day when I was young and during the first 20 years of my marriage, one only went to restaurants for special celebrations as they were scarce and expensive. I cooked. We all cooked. And as my mother grew up in a farm community, gathering food, cooking, and eating were important and fun parts of each day. Frequently, during one meal, the adults would discuss and plan the next one! Food and eating tasks were shared and enjoyed by all members of the family as the men often were the prime food gatherers and instigators of special meals. The men were definitely in charge if outdoor cooking was involved.

OK, I’ll confess. These days I HAVE to cook with my Histamine Intolerance issues. Restaurant food has too many unknown ingredients that could trigger a reaction. Ditto any food someone else cooks for me. And the smells in restaurants don’t work for me either—food particles in the air are a problem. And the smells that reside on other people (personal body products, laundry products, etc.) are serious triggers for me. But I come to this issue well prepared.

And I don’t let this situation hold me back. I just take my own “safe” food with me. And in good weather, I especially like to take a picnic somewhere scenic—or to my own back deck with a good book.

Here are some recent meals I’ve enjoyed. I try to cook for more than one meal at a time, but not too many as “old” food acquires too much histamine and sets me to itching. If I make a big soup or stew, I freeze about half of it. Then, yeah!!, I have a “free” meal to enjoy.

There is nothing for breakfast that I can eat without tempting fate. My breakfast is a big cup of coffee loaded with our local raw heavy cream and a bit of our local honey. By lunch, I am hungry.

Lunch is, most often, a BIG salad with lots of raw veggies and a meat protein. I use herbs, salt, and a drizzle of EVOO olive oil since I cannot do vinegar. The taste of the veggies comes through loud and crunchy and, often, very sweet. I don’t miss the vinegar because once I got away from it, or lemon, my tastes changed. Suddenly I could really taste the vegetables, and they were delicious.

This salad has a bed of mixed lettuce, some diced roasted chicken, a bit of organic cottage cheese (which I seem to be able to eat even though it has a bit of vinegar to make it…cottage cheese), some cooked snow peas and broccoli, and raw red onion, red bell pepper, carrots, cucumbers, some dried dill, sea salt, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of EVOO olive oil. My garden is emerging, so soon I’ll have fresh herbs galore.

Look at this pretty beef stew. Some of this one is frozen, and I could eat it for lunch or dinner.

Any stew is easy peasy. Saute the meat (1 1/2 or 2 pounds of stew meat or lamb shanks or short ribs). in some beef tallow or chicken fat until it starts to brown—in a really oven-proof HEAVY pot. Add some liquid, enough to cover the meat, herbs, garlic, onion, and stick it in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. Add chunks of potato and carrots for another 30 minutes. If you want chunks of cabbage, add that so it cooks 15 to 20 minutes and call it a day. Make sure you don’t let the liquid run dry. You could add some rice flour or wheat flour if you want a heartier gravy when you add the vegetables. Only 2 tablespoons or so. Those of you who can eat tomato could add them. Or spices you like.

Here’s the start of a stirfry that might get some meat added at the end or might just be a side dish. For fat use, chicken fat, beef tallow, REAL pork lard, or coconut oil. Add salt and spices/herbs you like and cook on fairly high heat. Turn often so the veggies don’t burn. If the pan gets too hot, add a little water and cut it out. That can make the veggies limp though—just so you know. Adding meat cools the pan too and adds enough liquid to stop the overheating. You can use ground meat, thinly sliced raw chicken, or cooked meat. For the cooked meat, you won’t get liquid, so add a little.

Here’s a meatloaf dinner with thawed frozen berries for dessert (with some maple syrup or special honey from DIL Tami).

Here’s how this meatloaf started out:

Two pounds of ground meat (this one was local grass-fed hamburger and lamb), a handful of oats, two duck eggs because I can get duck eggs locally and do better with them, grated carrots and zucchini, some red onion, some grated mozzarella cheese, some herbs, some salt, and a bit of milk to help combine it all. The grated veggies and cheese keep the meatloaf moist.

Here it is ready to cook—with some tomato ketchup drizzled over. I can’t always do the ketchup, but today I could:

Half of this meatloaf is in the freezer. I started to really freeze seriously in case I did get a bad case of the virus. So I will not hurry to eat this saved food quite yet.

My food is simple—and filled with herbs. (Yes, I miss spices.). Because the ingredients are local and fresh and clean, they taste really good. But, I have to say that my food does not need a lot of spices to jazz it up because it has not lost its own “good.”

I’m lucky.

PS: Look for the upcoming post on roast chicken—it’s the backbone of many meals.

Written by louisaenright

April 17, 2020 at 6:07 pm

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Lunch

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Turkey Tracks:  January 11, 2020

Yummy Lunch

I really look forward to my lunch everyday.  It’s the first meal of the day that I eat.

I really like to make a big salad with LOTS of fresh and roasted veggies—and some protein.  I use what I have on hand.

This one has a bed of organic lettuce that includes hearty greens and some herbs , roasted beets, roasted asparagus, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, and is sprinkled with Penzey’s dried dill and sea salt.

With my histamine intolerance issues, I can’t do vinegar.  I drizzle with an organic, first pressed, olive oil.  I’ve learned to really taste the veggies over these past years.  The peppers, beets, and carrots are so sweet.

 

Written by louisaenright

January 11, 2020 at 9:06 am

Turkey Tracks: I Love Stir Frys

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Turkey Tracks:  January 6, 2020

I Love Stir Frys

I love to make a stir-fry meal with LOTS of fresh, organic, local-when-possible veggies and a healthy meat.

Just look at this beautiful mixture:  onion, three colored carrots (orange, white, red), cauliflower, green and red sweet peppers, yellow squash, and garlic are in this mix.  I added sea salt, crumbled dried mint that I dried from my garden, and an herb mixture I like (Penzey’s Herbs de Provence which has lavender included).  I can’t do spices with my Histamine Intolerance, if I could I would like the Indian spices, like cumin, cardamon, tumeric, etc.  And some pepper heat.  Basically I use the veggies I have on hand and start to “sweat” them in a little beef or duck fat.  I don’t use olive oil as it is too delicate and fractures under heat, which isn’t good for us to eat.

This time I added a lean ground lamb when the veggies start to brown on the bottom of the pan.  The addition of the meat adds more fat and some moisture, which helps to cook the veggies without burning.  When the meat is almost done, I added, this time, slivered raw cabbage.

Here is the meal finished and ready to eat.  I will get several meals from this cooking expedition.  Note that I don’t like my veggies to get too limp—which means that when I reheat some of the mixture for a meal (covered and add a few tablespoons of water to keep things moise), the veggies don’t get overdone.  Reheating from a cold oven takes no more than 20 minutes.  I use an oven-proof glass bowl, a stray glass top I have that sits loosely on the top, and, often just slide the bowl on a plate and eat from the bowl.

With this method, I can also use cubed left-over meat from other meals—added at the last minute just to heat through.  And if I want, I can put the mixture over rice or, for me, rice noodles.  I don’t do that often though as all I have to do is look at rice forms to put on weight.  I like a sprouted, color mixed, organic rice from Trader Joe’s best of all, and when I make a run to Portland, I stop in and replenish my supply.  Sprouted grains make their nutrients more available for our bodies to use.

Written by louisaenright

January 6, 2020 at 9:50 am

Turkey Tracks: Silicone Products Can Replace Plastic

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June 23, 2019

Silicone Products Can Replace Plastic

I’ve wanted to replace plastic baggies and plastic wraps for some time.

A conversation with fellow quilters revealed that there are silicone products that can replace plastic.  Thanks Tori Manzi!!

So this week, I ordered some products to try:  silicone bowl tops and baggies and some grocery bags meant to replace plastic bag use in the grocery store.  These items are available in lots of places, so just google what you might want to try.  I deemed them affordable in the long run.

The three packages I ordered arrived this week, and I’m really liking them so far.

Here are the plastic tops meant to cover bowls—they stretch so can cover differently sized containers.  The pink items are a collapsible funnel and a tool meant to take the skin off of garlic as you roll the garlic cloves inside it.

The tops work well and are easy to put over bowls.  You might have to dry off outside moisture if a bowl has been in the refrigerator.

The tops would not work on a bowl like the one on the right front that has extensions built in.

The silicone bags are awesome as well:

They are air-tight, can freeze, etc., etc.  They will work in a sous vide pot as they can take the heat.  The plastic slides (yikes on the plastic) fit over the top of the filled bag to seal everything tight.  When filled they can stand up on their own.  They came with instructions and a stand which helps support them while you fill them.  Comments online say they hold soup just fine with no leakage.  There are three sizes.  The smallest holds up to 4 cups.  The big one is…big.

In addition, I ordered produce bags that will go to the grocery store with me and that are washable, etc.  They are meant to go right into the refrigerator, are washable, and will work to replace plastic bags.  They are a fine mesh.  I may have to wrap something like fragile lettuce in some damp paper towels, but…we’ll see.

I’ll keep you posted, but…

…I think it’s all going to work.

I can already see I might need more of the silicone bowl cover tops down the road.

Written by louisaenright

June 23, 2019 at 9:16 am

Turkey Tracks: Yep, They’re Still Pretty

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Turkey Tracks:  March 10, 2019

Yep, They’re Still Pretty!

All winter I’ve roasted local organic beets about once a week.

You can see earlier posts on tricks to oven roast and peel while warm.

I still get so much pleasure out of seeing the jewel-like mixture in a bowl.

Beets are a powerhouse veggie and are definitely all about “eating the rainbow.”

How’s this for a rainbow lunch?

Written by louisaenright

March 10, 2019 at 10:38 am

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Soup!

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Turkey Tracks:  October 27, 2018

Yummy Soup!

I roasted a chicken the other day.

Roasted chicken always means making soup broth.  With the Histamine Intolerance, I can’t make bone broths that cook for 24 hours any more—long cooking equals too much histamine in the food.  But I’ve been able to make a quick broth with the bones and carcass that cooks about an hour.

I am so happy because I really love soup!

This soup is filled with local veggie goodies and two boneless chicken breasts cut into pieces.  I had some cooked kate to add, some peas from the spring pea crop I blanched and froze, carrots, red peppers, leeks, cauliflower, the tiny last baby zucchini from my garden, and fresh garlic.  These veggies all cook really quickly after being sweated for a bit in the pan to add more flavor.

I added some rice noodles that I cooked separately in the bottom of my soup bowl.

Yes, a yummy soup dinner and leftovers for lunch the next day.

Written by louisaenright

October 27, 2018 at 8:56 am

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Dinner 2

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Yummy Dinner 2

SIL Maryann Enright visited this past weekend.  We had grilled lamb chops for dinner Friday night.  It poured rain Saturday, so we settled for an inside easy meal:  creamed fresh haddock–local and so fresh–with vegetables and rice.

We also saw some sweet peas at the Belfast Coop, so we picked up a few handfuls.

IMG_0445

This meal is so easy and so delicious and cooks in about 25 minutes.

Lay fish in a flat pan with sides:  I use a pyrex glass pan.

Salt the fish.  Add whatever veggies you have on hand or buy.  In season ripe tomatoes are yummy with this meal.  I can’t eat them though.  I had some leftover sautéed chard from last night’s dinner, so scattered that about.  Then I added some THINLY SLICED onion, red pepper, tiny baby zucchini, and carrots.  Slice thin to cook fast, especially with firm veggies like the carrot.

Salt more and scatter lots of herbs over everything–fresh if you can, dried if you can’t but not so much as you would fresh herbs.

Then, the magic, spread LOTS of raw heavy cream over the layers.  I used about 1 1/2 cups.  The fish will make a sauce with the cream.  You could add a dollop of white wine if you like.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes in a preheated oven.

Serve in a kind of bowl plate so you can add lots of the sauce.

Leftovers are delicious gently reheated in an oven.

PS:  you can do a similar casserole with chicken.  Lay raw rice on the bottom of a thick pan you can cover.  Lay boneless chicken cut into pieces over the rice.  Add in whatever veggies, cheese, and herbs you might like.  These veggies can be a thicker cut as the dish will cook longer.  Add the cream and a little more liquid as you have to have enough to cook the rice.  Bake longer–more like 40 or so minutes.  See if rice is cooked through.

Or cook rice separately, use the cut up boneless chicken, and keep veggies sliced thin for a quicker cook time.

I have used whole, bone-in pieces of chicken, too.  That would have a 45 minute or so cook time.

Enjoy!

Written by louisaenright

October 15, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Turkey Tracks: Yummy Dinner

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Turkey Tracks:  October 9, 2018

Yummy Dinner!

Everything on this plate is local food.  And organic.

Grilled lamb chops (I get a whole lamb each fall and eat it from nose to tail), beets, fall spinach sauteed in butter and garlic, late summer cantalope—all from Hope’s Edge CSA.  The boiled fingerling potatoes swiming in butter are in our local markets now as well.  I look forward to them every fall.

A friend asked me to take a look at the food documentary THE MAGIC PILL.  It’s excellent and features many of my food heroes.  I highly recommend it.  You can get it on Netflix, Amazon, or UTube.  It’s well worth taking some time to watch.  I’ve been eating this way for many years now and have never been healthier, even in spite of the Histamine Intolerance issue, which I believe to be genetically acquired from my dad.

Written by louisaenright

October 10, 2018 at 9:46 am

Turkey Tracks: Roasting Beets

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Turkey Tracks:  September 19, 2018

Roasting Beets

I love roasted beets.  I keep them in the refrigerator as an “asset” almost all the time, especially since I’ve read in numerous places for the past few years how healthy they are.  They contribute to “eating the rainbow” in terms of veggies for sure.

And, they are EASY to roast.  Small ones I halve and roast whole around other veggies and meat.  Bigger ones I roast as follows:

I start with this covered pyrex bowl.  Any covered bowl will do.

I wash the beets and put them into the bowl and add about 1 1/2-inches of water.  I don’t trim anything at this point.  I cook them at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.  A sharp knife can test if they are done or not.  Different pans and different ovens will cook differently.  I let them cool, often with the top closed if the beets are still a bit firm.

When they can be handled, I trim off both ends with a sharp knife and stick a fork in one end.

Rub a paper towel, or a rough cloth, over the skin.  It will slide right off.  Cut the beet into chunks or slices.

There are three kinds of beets here:  red, golden, and a white/pink striped chioggia.

Later, I had this dinner:  the last of the local summer corn I think–small ears so I had two; green haricot beans from my garden; sliced cukes with some raw onion, the beets topped with yellow sweet pepper and herbs from the garden; chicken drumsticks; and some yellow watermelon.  I drizzle a bit of really good olive oil over fresh-cut veggie salads.  I use local raw butter for the corn and beans.  And I use a local sea salt or the brand REAL SALT.  Trader Joe’s has a pink salt I keep on hand as well.  These salts all have slightly different minerals, depending on where they were mined or dried from seawater.

That all looks like a rainbow to me.

Written by louisaenright

September 19, 2018 at 11:50 am

Posted in Recipes

Turkey Tracks: Hot Weather Lunch

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Turkey Tracks:  September 3, 2018

Hot Weather Lunch

I am way, way, way behind on posting to the blog.

But life has been busy for me lately.  I’ve had a lot of lovely rich life experiences taking place.  Among them a visit from old Falls Church, VA, friends Terry and Bob Zawacki—after 14 years.  They took pictures, but I, as often happens when I am busy and happy, did not get a single one of them.  Betsy Maislen arrived the same day for her annul volunteering on the J&E Riggin windjammer boat. (She comes to me when the boat is in port.). We all had a lobster dinner here.  AND, I have been preparing to take in another dog—a rescue from Arkansas.  More on that ongoing adventure in another post.

Up here in mid-coast Maine, we think we’re truly suffering when the temps go up to 80+ and humidity rises.  Few people have air-conditioners, so the heat is…felt.   Suffered…  We do a lot of whining.

I also make “hot weather lunches.”  Here is one:

Salted ricotta cheese (find one that does not have additives), apple, beets, cukes, carrots, orange bell pepper.

Written by louisaenright

September 3, 2018 at 11:45 am