Zucchini and Basil Sautee

Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces.

Zucchini chopped into bite sized pieces.

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy all the zucchini that’s super fresh right now.  And it’s really easy, just some time and a few ingredients and you’ve got a healthy delicious side dish or meal to go picnicking with!

Ingredients:

Zucchini

Onion

Butter and/or Olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Basil

Shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese

Method:

Chop up some onion, I usually use about a 1 to 4 ratio of onion to zucchini.

Add the chopped onion, a few pinches of salt (go easy on the salt if you plan to add cheese to the finished dish, which I highly recommend!) and a healthy dose of butter and olive oil to a heavy bottom pan, the wider the pan the better.   You’ll start with a lot of fat in the pan to cook the onions and then when you add the zucchini you can decide if you need to add more.  Cook the onions on medium heat.

While the onions cook, chop your zucchini.  I make some pieces smaller than others so when it cooks, the smaller bits get mushy and the larger bits keep their shape so you don’t end up with baby food.  Or maybe you end up with baby food, it’s really delicious either way!

Start with chopped onion and plenty of butter.

Start with chopped onion and plenty of butter.

When the onions begin to look translucent, add in the zucchini, some black pepper and saute, stirring all the while, til smushy and starting to brown on med to medium high heat.

Sautee the zucchini and onions

Saute the zucchini and onions

Once you’ve cooked the zucchini down, it will release a lot of water, so plan on stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes til you get a nice, thick consistency.  Take it off the heat and serve topped with fresh chopped basil and shredded hard cheese like Romano.  This tastes great warm or at room temperature and makes a nice take along meal for picnic’s or pot lucks.

Topped with cheese and ready to eat or take on a picnic!

Topped with cheese and ready to eat or take on a picnic!

Nutritive Paste, Not Your Grandma’s Marmite

The hardest thing about going through a Candida elimination is the apparent lack of food to eat.  And the need for that food to be optimally nutritious and easy to digest.  My husband has a thing for Marmite, that yeast based nutritive paste that was England’s answer to keeping the poor alive as cheaply and easily as possible.  Mmmmm, kinda tastes that way too.  Marmite, if you like the way the salt sucker punches your taste buds and then drops a days worth of  B vitamins on your palate via yeast concentrate, does do it’s job of adding vitamins to your breakfast toast.   If you are like me, products en general, especially those made with yeast, cause upset to my delicate digestive system.  I do however love the idea of making a concentrated super nutrient dense food that could be spread on flax crackers, eaten over a salad, with fresh crudités or as a flavoring agent in soups and meat dishes.  Really the possibilities are endless. And sometimes I just eat them with a spoon.

Pesto by the spoonful, yeah, I ate that.

I like to have food ready to go because I am chronically forgetting to eat until I’m just starving and in no mood to cook.  Having washed and prepped veggies plus one of several dressings or dips all ready to go makes things much easier.  I can put together a healthy snack or meal pretty quickly.

The following suggestions and recipes will keep well in your refrigerator for over a week and can also be frozen (I use an ice cube tray so I have single serve cubes).  Each one is about half leafy herbs, known for being packed with vitamins, minerals and lots of taste, way more fun than taking multi vitamins and, I would argue, better for you.  Leafy greens, herbs and vegetables, provide our bodies with essential nutrients including a connection to the sun, earth and our environment.  Buy local organic greens or grow your own, it’s almost that time of year again, that’s the rumor anyway.

The other half of each recipe is good for you fats, like nuts, oils and seeds.  They are called essential fatty acids because they are essential.   They help your brain to function optimally, your body to insulate and protect your organs, as well as keep down inflammation.  The omegas also lubricate your joints and digestive system, and keep your skin glowing and elastic.  Fat from plants and even properly raised and cared for animals has much to offer.

I have already posted a recipe for two kinds of Goddess dressing.  Both can be made thick and used as a dip, spread (if you eat bread, this makes a great sandwich addition) or salad dressing.  You can also try using it as a topping for cooked fish, meat or soy.

Pesto can be made and used the same way.  I like it with spaghetti squash or flax crackers and cheese!

Here’s basic pesto:

A big bunch of basil leaves, a handful of pine nuts, olive oil to the right consistency, a few cloves or more garlic and salt.  Blend using a quisinart type appliance or blender.

And a Few Variations:

Greek olives and/or sun-dried tomatoes

Use walnuts or pecans instead of the pine nuts.

Romano cheese (if you can eat cheese!)

Use half basil and half parsley for an extra vitamin c kick.

Walnut Miso with Parsley

Another variation on this theme uses the basic walnut miso recipe I posted earlier, then add a big bunch of parsley and a little olive or walnut oil to get the consistency correct.

Cilantro y Pepitas

If you like cilantro try a big bunch blended with pepitas, garlic, salt, neutral oil like sunflower, and maybe some lime and smokey pepper.

Or, make up your own, the formula is simple, lots of leafy green herbs, oil and nuts or seeds, salt, garlic (this helps it keep longer in the fridge) and maybe some spices, vinegar or citrus to round out the flavor.  Go on, add some serious nutrition and taste to your diet!

Shrimp and Scallop Fish Balls

The ones that Brian made looked very similar to these.

Before my brother had me over for dinner last week we had several conversations about what he would make that I could actually eat.  We joked about how he was going to make us pizza, minus the pizza part.  What he cookedwas super simple, really yummy and perfectly Candida diet friendly.  All you need is a food processor (it really helps) and a pan with veggie oil or coconut oil for frying.  I’m sure you could bake them too or cook them in boiling broth for soup.

Ingredients

all amounts are approximate, you can add more or less herbs and seasonings to your preference:

1/2 pound each shrimp and scallops or 1 lb of white fish (you can mix and match, use what you have or whatever is freshest at your grocery store)

zest of one lime, make sure it’s organic or you’ll be zesting chemicals, ew.  Slice the zested lime and serve with the fried fish balls.

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped

fresh Thai basil, 4-8 leaves depending on how much you like basil.  Regular basil works just fine if you can’t find Thai.

Chili pepper flakes and/or Srirach (Brian used both since we like spicy food!)

Dash Cumin

The Procedure

Put all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse until well combined.  You may want to scrape the sides down a few times in between mixing.

The two spoon fry technique

Using a tablespoon or two of the fish mixture (you can make these more like patties or keep them small and round, it’s up to you!) cook in hot oil until golden brown.  If you are deep frying make sure they cook evenly all around, if you are pan frying, flip them and cook both sides evenly.

The first batch, fried on both sides.

We ate ours on beds of mixed greens lightly dressed with lime, salt and oil.  And of course, don’t forget the Sriracha!

Sriracha aka Cock Sauce (because of the rooster, of course!)

You can also fry up a bunch of small fish balls and add them to your favorite Asian inspired soup.  I like to use clear seafood broth or mushroom broth to start then I add lots of greens like bok choy and freshly grated ginger, lemongrass, cilantro, basil and lime juice.  Add the fish balls and you’ve got another great winter meal!

Mushroom based soup, ready to add the veggies and the finish fish balls.