Why did I start this blog? I have been having episodes of inflammation in my hands and fingers, feet and toes, and joints for some time now. I’ve consulted the doctor and have had tests done. It’s not rheumatoid arthritis and my uric acid is normal (tho at times borderline normal). In an effort to determine which food triggers the inflammation, I have been systematically eliminating certain foods from my diet and then bringing them back. After several years, I have now come to the conclusion that I seem to be reacting to animal protein in general (like some sort of allergic reaction). Different animal proteins affect me to different degrees; some cause inflammation faster than others. So I have decided to reduce my intake of meat. No, I am not going vegetarian; maybe semi-vegetarian if there is such a thing. I will be adding interesting and not too difficult recipes here as I find them. I will also include arthritis management tips that have worked for me.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Low fat peach cobbler

I found an easy recipe for peach cobbler (source); it takes only a few minutes to prepare and is low fat too. I tweaked the recipe a bit. I used canned peach slices (instead of frozen) and Sprite. To keep it low fat, enjoy it as it is or if you really must, top it with low fat yogurt instead of vanilla ice cream.


1 can (12-14 oz.) peach slices
1 cup (8 oz.) Sprite
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
4 Tbsp. light butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the peach slices in a single layer in the 9-inch round glass baking dish. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda and (optional) salt. Using a fork, incorporate softened light butter to the flour mixture, until it is crumbly.
Sprinkle crumbly flour mixture over the layer of peach slices. Slowly pour the lemon lime soda pop evenly over the peach slices and flour topping mixture. Bake about 40-45 minutes. Let cool about 10-15 minutes before serving 8 servings with a large serving spoon.

Servings: 8

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quick Vegetarian Paella

I watched Gwyneth Paltrow show Ellen Degeneres how to make vegan paella on “The Ellen Show” just the other day. The recipe is in Gwyneth’s new cookbook , “My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness”. Since the segment was definitely under time pressure, the demo went fast. I’m always on the lookout for easy vegetable recipes and the finished vegan paella looked delicious so I went in search of a similar recipe. Here’s what I found

2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups (1-inch) chopped green bell pepper
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups uncooked quick-cooking brown rice
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed, or ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Heat olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in rice and next 4 ingredients (through thyme); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato, green peas, olives, 2 tablespoons parsley, black pepper, and artichoke hearts. Cook 3 minutes or until rice is tender and mixture is thoroughly heated. Garnish with additional chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

YIELD: 5 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)

Gwyneth’s recipe had eggplants in it; I guess you can add some in this recipe too. She also made her own vegetable stock.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Talinum Dip

In one of my previous posts, I talked about talinum (Talinum fruticosum). This herbaceous, succulent plant grows abundantly in the area where I take my early morning walks and just the other day I picked a big bunch. The plant has nice tiny pink-purple flowers and looks lovely in a flower vase. Then my daughter found this recipe for a dip that calls for spinach and I thought, why not use the talinum instead of spinach? After all talinum is also known as Philippine spinach.

Since the recipe uses frozen chopped spinach, I blanched the talinum leaves first, then shocked the leaves in iced water. After thoroughly draining and squeezing out the excess water, I had my spinach substitute.

Here’s the modified recipe. Blend together 2 cups yogurt (I used my home-made low-fat yogurt), 1 packet of soup mix (your choice of flavor; you can also use “ginisa” mix), ½ cup chopped spring onions, a few cloves of garlic and about 1 ½ - 2 cups of chopped talinum leaves (previously blanched, and thoroughly drained). Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may add grated cheese for added flavor. Refrigerate for a while to allow the flavors to come together.

The dip goes well with corn chips, slightly toasted tortillas or pita bread, or vegetable sticks.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tomatoes and onions omelette

Recently I had the urge to make some cream puffs (see Foodshoot.blogspot.com). The recipe for the custard filling called for three egg yolks. So what to do with the egg whites? I did not want to make another dessert (like meringue). What did I have in my kitchen? There were the onions that my husband had brought home (lots of onions); I also had some tomatoes on hand. It was close to lunch time so I figured why not make an omelette? I just added one whole egg to the three egg whites and here’s what I came up with. Fast, quite delicious and healthy too!

Here's how to make a low-fat omellete.

Low-Fat Omelet on FoodistaLow-Fat Omelet