Archive for Recipes

Carrot Bean Dip: Satisfying and Nutrient-Rich

Carrot Dip

Carrot Bean Dip: Satisfying and Nutrient-Rich

It’s nearly lunchtime as I write this post, but I’m not hungry. Why? Because a couple of hours ago, I had a small hit of Carrot Bean dip. It’s good stuff! Tasty. Satisfying. Nutrient-rich.

What more could you ask for? Easy? Yep, it’s that also. Actually, it’s a breeze to whip together.

The background:

As I’ve plunged into the world of Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis over the last year or so, one thing I’ve noticed is that a LOT of the reports I get back feature elevated tissue calcium (Ca) and low tissue potassium (K). Yep, even my own.

That’s bad news when it comes to so many health conditions. And it’s particularly challenging for utilization of thyroid hormone.

According to the mineral experts (I will list three of my favorites at the end of this post), excess tissue calcium inhibits absorption of thyroid hormone into your cells. So too much tissue calcium puts you in the situation where even if your body’s thyroid hormone production is normal, its utilization is impaired. Add to that low or lowish tissue potassium, which sensitizes your tissue to thyroid hormone, and you’re left in a sluggish situation.

The Nutritional Lowdown:

Carrot Bean Dip: Nutrient Rich

Carrot Bean Dip: Nutrient Rich and Delicious

Although a Carrot Bean Dip “fix” is overly simplistic, it does offer us a couple of nice things, from a nutritional perspective. Plus it tastes good. It’s high in vitamin A, which is antagonistic to calcium. 100 grams of raw carrots, or about two 5-1/2″ carrots, contains 835 mcg of retinol activity units (RAE). You’ll use about 2-1/2 times that amount in making a batch of this dip.

In addition, carrots and beans are both good sources of potassium. That same 100 grams of raw carrots contains 320 mg of potassium, and a half cup of dried great northern beans (the amount used in this recipe) contains 1269 mg.

Just to put this in perspective, the US Government’s Dietary Reference Intake recommendations for vitamin A is between 700-900 mcg, RAE for healthy adults (breastfeeding moms 1300). The daily recommendation of potassium for healthy adults is 4700 mg.

So bottom line: nosh on some of this tasty Carrot Bean Dip plus a few well-selected dippers and you’ll be doing yourself a nutritional favor, enhance your body’s utilization of thyroid hormone if it happens to be low (which we would learn by looking at the results of a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis report), and satisfy your sweet / salty / crunchy side all at once!

The Recipe!

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried white beans (such as Great Northern), soaked and cooked

1/2 lb carrots, scrubbed, tops cut off

1 T lemon juice

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup full fat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 tsp sea salt; more to taste

Optional: fresh dill for garnish

Assorted dippers (veggies, corn chips, etc.)

Procedure

1. Cut carrots into chunks. Place in a pan with a couple tablespoons of water. Cook 20 minutes or until soft.

2. Place carrots, up to 2 tablespoons of cooking liquid, and drained cooked beans into your food processor; process until smooth. (I usually cook the beans a day or so ahead.)

3. Add lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt and salt. Blend well. Chill if desired.

That’s it! See, I told you it was easy! Enjoy!

By the way, for those whose food plan does not include legumes, just double the carrots and leave out the beans. Also delicious!

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References:

Dietary Reference Intakes: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI/DRI_Tables/RDA_AI_vitamins_elements.pdf

Thompson, Robert and Barnes, Kathleen (2013). The Calcium Lie II. Take Charge Books.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl

Watts, David L (2010). Trace Minerals and Other Elements. Trace Elements.

Wilson, Lawrence (2014). Nutritional Balancing and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis. The Center for Development, Inc.

Quiche grain free and dairy free breakfast

Quiche grain free, dairy free. It’s what’s for breakfast!

There’s a quiche, grain free and diary free, in the oven! It’s loaded with veggies and protein. Quiches are so yummy, and yet I rarely take the few minutes to make them. Why, why, why? Ok, I’m human and have a lot going on. You too, right? Just a note to self that the few minutes invested today will save food prep time in the long run, because the leftovers are delicious.

Quiche grain free, dairy free

My quiche wasn’t this photogenic, but it tasted yummy!

Today’s quiche takes me back about a year, when I was just starting to feel my way out of a personalized elimination diet that I had very willingly undertaken in order to give my gut a break. I was gingerly trying out the addition of eggs, but still off dairy and grains. And I was also gingerly trying out the concept of a protein-rich breakfast, after years of breakfast-skipping. (Sad, but true.) So I wanted something quick and easy, filled with nutrients, no grain or dairy, and appealing. Yep.

Enter, the quiche: grain-free and dairy-free!

I sifted through a bunch of recipes and did some experimenting on my own. Here’s what I came up with.

Ingredients for the grain free quiche crust:

  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax plus 6 Tbsps water (or substitute 2 beaten eggs)
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 Tablespoons water
  • Optional: a teaspoon or so of dried herbs; your choice

To prepare the crust:

  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • Mix 2 T ground flax and 6 T water in small bowl and set aside, or beat 2 eggs.
  • Combine dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, salt, herbs if using) in a medium bowl.
  • Add coconut oil, hydrated flax seeds and water; mix until mixture holds together.
  • Press into greased / oiled (I used coconut oil) deep 9″ pie pan. Prick crust a few times with the tines of a fork.
  • Place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or so while you prepare the filling.

Ingredients for the dairy free quiche custard:

  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups coconut milk, or other alternate milk of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Dash of nutmeg

To prepare the custard:

  • Break eggs into a medium bowl; beat them with a fork.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix together.
  • Set aside.

Filling ingredients:

  • Several cups of chopped or diced vegetables. Mix and match as you please: asparagus, artichoke hearts, spinach, dehydrated tomato slices, broccoli, onion, mushrooms, peppers, cauliflower, green beans, eggplant, etc. Just avoid really watery veggies like fresh tomatoes
  • A half cup or so of cooked diced meat or fish: chicken, smoked salmon, bacon, crab, summer sausage (gluten and nitrate free, please)
  • Notice there is no cheese on this list! Your quiche will be very tasty without it. However if your family finds dairy beneficial, feel free to add a layer of grated or cubed cheese when you assemble your quiche.

Assemble and bake your quiche:

  • Once the crust is pre-baked, remove it from the oven.
  • Increase your oven temperature to 375°.
  • Place cooked meat or fish in an even layer on top of the crust.
  • Fill in the pie plate with your choice of chopped / diced veggies.
  • Carefully pour custard over the veggies.
  • Pop your quiche into the oven and bake for 35 – 40 minutes.
  • Find something really interesting to do while it bakes. Guess what I picked?

You’ve got a quiche grain free and dairy free!

Once the allotted time has elapsed, check your custard for doneness with the knife test. Insert a knife into the center of the quiche. If it comes out clean, your custard is set. If there are bits of custardy stuff on the knife, it isn’t quite done yet. Stick the pan back in the oven for another 5 minutes and then test again.

One more thing. Quiche is not just for breakfast! Serve with a side salad for a satisfying lunch or light supper. Refrigerate any leftovers. Reheat the leftovers if you prefer; I usually just eat them cold.

Enjoy!