Kitchen Experiments – Lentil Loaf with Gravy

Well, it was another day 2 in the ALCAT diet plan and I did not know what to make again.  Some days are harder than others.  While I do eat meat, more than once a week is tough for me.  We had turkey the night before and so I was not in the mood for chicken.  So what to make?  Then it came to me!  I had thought about it a few weeks ago and then forgot again – Lentil Loaf!

I used to make it on occasion and I would use lentils, vegetables, oats, soy or rice cheese, and bind it all together with eggs.  Well, I was in luck because almost all of those things were on my day 2 list.  So, I cooked up my lentils with water and oregano and then I let them cool.  I sautéed scallions, celery and beet greens and then added them to the lentils.  I used some gluten-free oats like I would use breadcrumbs, and then I added some vegan soy cheese mozzarella style and then bound it all up with eggs!  I mixed it until it was all nice and moist and placed it in an 8’x8′ pan and popped it in the oven at 375.   I would often put it in a bread pan but I did not have as much time to let it cook so the 8″x8″ pan allowed it to cook much more quickly. I would say it was cooked in about 35 to 40 minutes.

While it was cooking, I took a little olive oil and put it in a small sauce pan.  I ground up some oats to make oat flour and added that to the pan as well. I cooked it over medium heat just for a minute to make a roux and then slowly added my chicken broth.  I cooked it over medium heat for several minutes until it began to thicken and there I had my chicken gravy!

lentil loafI sliced up some lentil loaf put it on the plate and topped it with the chicken gravy!  I must say it was another delicious meal!  I will remember this one the next time day 2 rolls around and I don’t know what to make!

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Kitchen Experiments – Pumpkin Pie

Well, maybe calling it a pumpkin pie is a little bit of a stretch. Could we call it a pumpkin crisp since it only had a topping and not a bottom crust?

So once again a typical recipe for pumpkin pie/crisp could not be followed since the Alcat diet plan has us following a 4-day rotation diet.  I am really becoming quite accustomed to substituting ingredients or to just winging it and seeing what happens.  Well, like any good experiment – some work and some don’t!

pumpkin pieIt doesn’t look so bad right?  Actually the taste was pretty good, but honestly the texture was a little funky.  What went wrong?  Well, I will admit that I was in a rush and being lazy and I didn’t want to wash my vitamix, so I mixed it by hand in a bowl. I used some frozen pumpkin that I had cooked up at the end of the fall season and you can really see the difference – look how bright orange the color is in the filling!  When I froze it, I only scraped it out of the shell and did not puree it, so it was not very smooth.  Secondly, I can only eat egg yolks and not egg whites so I used the egg yolks but did not put in an egg white substitute.  I think the filling just did not bind up as well as it would have if I would have added some arrowroot flour to replace the egg white.  I used oat milk and sugar and spices and the filling was tasty if not perfect.

The topping was great!  I left a little of the pumpkin mixture in the bowl for some moisture and then added gluten-free oats, gluten-free oat flour, sugar, spices and a little olive oil and made a crumble.  I put that on top of the pumpkin puree and voila,  Pumpkin crisp! Maybe not perfect, but certainly delicious!

Kitchen Experiment – Parsnip Pancakes

Parsnips.  An interesting vegetable.  Maybe you have noticed them at the grocery store and thought that they were a pale carrot. They kind of look like that.  Maybe you were like me and ignored them for years because you just didn’t know what to do with them.  In the past several years I have added them into my repertoire and have used them in stews, soups, and roasted them with carrots. They are delicious with a slightly sweet flavor.  But every 4 days I do not want to eat roasted parsnips so I needed to find something else to do with them.

parsnip pancakes

Parsnip pancakes!  What a treat!  It was just like a potato pancake but with a slighly sweet flavor.  I shredded the parsnips and mixed in  buckwheat flour, because it was a buckwheat day, and in place of the eggs, I used arrowroot flour mixed with water.  I patted them into patties and cooked them in a non-stick skillet.  I served them with applesauce for dinner and then ate them for breakfast the next day!  I am thinking that when I can add potatoes into my diet, I will try potato parsnip pancakes.  Parsnip day is tonight – I might have to make them again for dinner!

Kitchen Experiments – Nut Butter

I love nuts! I love nut butters! I love how easy it is to make any kind of nut butter using my new Vitamix! With the Alcat diet plan that we have been following now for almost 3 months, it is recommended that you follow a 4 day rotation diet plus eliminate all food intolerances that were found through the Alcat blood test. The idea behind a rotation diet is that the body can become over-sensitized to certain food components if it has to deal with them constantly, which is possibly how the intolerances developed in the first place.  In order to avoid creating any new intolerances and to allow the gut to heal, the rotation diet is prescribed.  This allows the body to metabolize the “safe” foods only infrequently making it less likely that the body will develop new intolerances to them.

So back to the nut butters!  Each day of the rotation diet allows for 2-3 different nuts and seeds.  While it is easy to find peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter, it is not so easy to find walnut and hazelnut butter or macadamia and pumpkin seed butter.  Actually, the best thing about making nut butters is that the combinations are endless!

nutbutterThis is my new favorite – macadamia and pumpkin seed butter.  Oh it is so delicious!  And so easy to make in the Vitamix!  I have a Champion Juicer that I have used for years to make different nut butters, but honestly, using the vitamix was so much easier.  I did not have to feed the nuts into the top of the juicer in small batches and wait for the juicer to grind them.  Instead, a stuck all the nuts and seeds in the vitamix, turned it on, and voila!  Nut butter!  What fun! Mmmm, I think that nut butter is calling my name right now!

Kitchen Experiments – Rice Pasta with Tofu Pesto Sauce

Sometimes when I am thinking about what to make for dinner, I will remember a recipe that I have not made in a long time and if I am lucky, the recipe will actually fit in with our Alcat diet plan.

Well, I was lucky this week!  Years ago my brother Gregory made up this recipe using tofu, basil and miso – he called it a tofu pesto!  I remember him making it that first time – it was so creamy and delicious.  He served it over rice with big broccoli spears.  I always thought of it like a pesto alfredo sauce.  Well, however you want to think about it, it is just plain delicious!

pesto

I had since found a similar recipe in my Ayurvedic cookbook and had used it in the past.  With a little tweaking this go round, it fit perfectly into our daily plan. I love when something comes together so brilliantly!  My pesto sauce contained silken tofu, basil, miso, homemade walnut, sunflower, hazelnut butter, tamari and water.  That’s it!  I served it over rice pasta with mushrooms and asparagus!  I can’t wait to make it again!

 

Kitchen Experiments – Mung Bean Pasta

Mung Bean Fettucine….have you tried it yet?  Anita found it at Earthlight Natural Foods here in Stroudsburg and thought it would be perfect for our new Alcat food plan.  Gluten-free and made with mung beans and water!

.mung bean

They have more protein than carbohydrate per serving and the texture is great! I decided to use them today to make a quick lunch for my friend and I.  It was carrot day, as well as tahini and almond butter.  So, I sauteed some carrots and made a tahini-almond sauce and ….

pasta

Viola!  Lunch!  If you haven’t tried this pasta – I highly recommend that you give them a try.  They are delicious and hold up well with a light or heavy sauce and are great as left overs. Enjoy!