Blurb on Miracle Noodles

Have you heard the phrase, “curiosity kills the cat?” At some point, we all are the cat. This pattern may be due to stubbornness. It could also be human’s desire to succeed where others failed. Nonetheless, in many of these situations, the exact repercussion that people warned us, occurs. But what is really worse? Continuing life with a looming what if or suffering from an annoying learning experience…

For about a year now, there have been mixed reviews over Miracle Noodles. Miracle Noodles is zero calorie pasta made mainly of soluble fiber. The soluble fiber slows digestions and prolongs the sense of fullness. Besides the soluble fiber, there are no other substantial nutrients in Miracle Noodles. Their marketing is mainly as a weight loss supplement. Besides calorie-free, the pasta contains no gluten or soy. For months, I eye them at the grocery store. Many people told me that Miracle Noodles made them sick. Others swore upon the pasta. Like a cat, my curiousity would not settle until those noodles made it into my shopping basket.

 From reading prior reviews, I was aware that the pasta would smell. Sounds hopeful, right? Yuck! One review mentioned that by adding salt to the rinsing process, removes the stench. First I rinsed, added salt, rinsed, repeat.

The smell dissipated thoroughly from the original, dead fish, aroma. Because of the smell, I knew that plenty of flavor would be necessary. Therefore, I used a sauté of gluten free Tamari sauce, vegetables, and cashews.

At this point, the only calories that I was consuming were from cashews. My body used more calories to digest than consumed. After blanching the Miracle Noodles, I combined them with my vegetable and cashew sauté. The dish was beautiful. Miracle Noodles are a pale white, contrasting the vegetables and blending into the glass bowl. I took a hopeful first bite but could not pass the jelly fish texture. It was a slimy goo that only got worse with each bite. The smell remained, only giving me less than attractive breath. Quinoa pasta it is!

There is no looming what if in my Miracle Noodle experience. Never say never but I highly doubt Miracle Noodles will make their way into my home again. While you may be wondering, why I put Miracle Noodles on my blog since I did not enjoy them, this pasta is completely allergy-free. Miracle Noodles are especially helpful for one trying to lose weight. Therefore, be a curious cat! After all… a zero calorie noodles? And allergy-free? If you enjoy the pasta, more power to you!

Vegan Eggnog

Tis the season for egg nog! Food allergies does not mean that one cannot experience this classic drink. As Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, holiday food pollutes grocery stores. So Delicious created a coconut and soy nog but are a slight fortune. Seeing as it is my mission to make all allergenites not feel left out in the regular food world, I felt inclined to create a vegan nog for parties or nights at home, sitting by the fire place and reading a good book. Using an avocado as the thickener, Vegan Eggnog is sweet and fulfilling! I obtained Vegan Eggnog from The Sweetest Vegan. The recipe is as follows…

Vegan Eggnog

Serves 12

Ingredients

  •  1 ripe avocado
  • 1 13 oz can coconut milk
  • ½ cup raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 3 1/3 cups almond milk
  • Rum (optional)

Instructions

Chill avocado and coconut milk in the freezer for about 45 minutes prior to blending. They should be very cold, but not frozen. It is very important that you complete this step.

Place all of the ingredients into the blender: meat of the avocado, coconut milk, raw sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Start the blender and slowly add in almond milk.

Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

I served in a wine glass because it is fun!

 

Buffalo Style Chicken Wings

People have become scared of food. It is too often that I hear comments on avoiding sugars and fats. When one is afraid of food, they miss a great opportunity. I am not saying to binge on ice cream. Everything in moderation. A balanced diet is life changing. But it is okay to have the occasional treat. If you are craving hash browns, eat them. Extra ketchup!

This fat food fear often arises with skinless versus chicken with skin. Yes, chicken with skin has more fat but the meat is obscurely delicious. There is a dramatic difference in flavor.

Fun Fact: A 12-oz bone in, skin-on, chicken breast contains 2.5g of saturated fat and 50 calories more than its skinless counterpart.

I have intense cravings for food. First of all, I love food. When I crave a dish, I cannot remove the meal from my mind until the dish is cooked. I have been craving chicken wings. Last night, I did not arrive home from work until 9:00 pm. I was starving. Earlier in the day, I had an unplanned workout. The plan was a hike with four hours of driving and hike time before work.  Well somehow, I missed the loop back to the car. Only having an hour to get back to me car and an hour and a half out, my hike transformed into a run in jeans and a down jacket, backtracking. But I made it! Maybe a little flushed and sweaty but I live in Central Oregon. Everyone is flushed and sweaty here.

Anyway, everything holy, required chicken wings last night. These fully skinned chicken wings were worth the cook time and extra calories. I got this chicken wing recipe from Bon Appetit. They provide a recipe for soy-ginger glaze but I only used their Buffalo Sauce. The recipe was developed for up to thirty wings. I used fewer and was left with extra sauce. The recipe is as follows…

Buffalo Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, melted (I used coconut)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup hot pepper sauce (I used Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce)
  • Olive oil to taste (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking sheet with foil.

Combine butter, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and hot pepper sauce in small bowl. Mix well. Add olive oil if mixture is too spicy.

Either in a bag or medium sized bowl, combine chicken wings with sauces. Toss until the wings are fully covered with sauce. Add wings to baking sheet and cook for 40-45 minutes or until meat is cooked through and skin is crispy.

Buffalo Style Chicken Wings were worth the cook time. I ate a Gooey Maple-Pumpkin Biscuit to withhold my hunger. Who said it was not okay to eat dessert first? The olive oil worked well to lessen the spice. I added approximately two tablespoons. Your necessity for olive oil will vary, depending on the pepper sauce, used. There are no heavy creams and only a miniscule amount of butter within the recipe. The sauce is low in calories. These are great for an appetizer at a party or main course. Buffalo Style Chicken Wings satisfied my chicken wing craving.

Gooey Maple-Pumpkin Biscuits

I am not the best at following directions. I tend to skim over the directions and “get the main idea.” There are a few circumstances when this gets me in trouble.

    1. Setting up a tent. My lack of direction has led tents to fall down on me in the middle of the night.

2. Work. Obvious one. Big oops.

   3.  Baking. Baking is not my forte. When a recipe goes wrong, I am always convinced that I used a bad recipe. This happened on Sunday, when I tried to make gingerbread cookies with a friend. The recipe called for Blackstrap molasses and I used Barbados.

Molasses is molasses right? Wrong! Let’s just say, they turned into gingerbread blobs that tasted like cardboard.

            Because of my reoccurring direction disasters, I decided that I needed to fix this bad habit. What is a better way to do it but bake? My first mission was a holiday treat… Gooey Maple-Pumpkin Biscuits from The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Bread. I do not know why they are called biscuits because these delicious treats are more like cinnamon rolls. Upon my first bite, the first words that came into my head were “oh my God.” I have not eaten a cinnamon roll in far too long and this gluten, dairy, and egg-free recipe provided hope for allergy-free baked goods.  I ate two. The recipe is as follows…

Gooey Maple-Pumpkin Biscuits

Ingredients

Topping

  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • Juice from ½ orange

Biscuits

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • ½ cup teff flour
  • ¼ cup arrowroot starch
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour, plus more for dusting and rolling
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup plain or vanilla nondairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped nut of choice (I used almonds and coconut)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Dust a large sheet of parchment paper with tapioca flour and set aside.

To make the topping, put the maple syrup and orange juice in an 8-inch round baking pan. Stir to combine. Set aside

To make the biscuits, put the sorghum flour, teff flour, arrowroot starch, tapioca flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Stir with dry whisk until combined.

Put the pumpkin, nondairy milk, oil, syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Stir until well combined. Pour into the flour mixture to make dough and stir until just moistened. Scrape the dough onto a prepared parchment paper using a rubber spatula. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle, about 8 x 15 inches.

To make the filling, put the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until well combined. Sprinkle over the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin at the top. Sprinkle the raisins and pecans evenly over the sugar mixture. Starting from the 15 inch side, roll the dough away from you, cinnamon roll style (because the dough is sticky, use the parchment paper to help in this process).

Using a sharp, floured knife, slice the dough into 8 equal portions. Put each slice, cut side down in the prepared pan on top of the orange juice mixture.

I ended up with 6, rather than 8. To each, their own!

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the biscuits have risen and are lightly browned. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Put a serving platter over the pan and turn the pan and platter over together so the biscuits are released onto the platter. Scrape any remaining sticky sauce from the pan over the biscuits. Serve warm.

Gooey Maple-Pumpkin Biscuits were amazing!  I have not eaten a cinnamon roll in far too long. They dough was moist and nicely sweetened with the syrup and orange juice combination. My roommate, who can eat wheat, loved them.  Since there are so many different steps to Gooey Maple-Pumpkin Biscuits, they take a little longer to make but are completely worth it. I guess it is worth it to follow directions! Especially during holiday season, these pumpkin treats are a great breakfast or desert.

Salmon Burgers

           

           Breakfast Salmon Burgers are stiff competition for breakfast pizza. I love pizza for breakfast. Pizza with pepperoni, pesto pizza, vegetarian pizza. A smoked salmon pizza will not last a day in my refrigerator.

Fun Fact: Salmon contains 33g of protein per serving and Mayoclinic.com makes it a top choice to consume Omega-3’s. Salmon is a high in monounsaturated fats while low in calories at 197 per serving. The recommended serving size for salmon is 3 oz which is approximately the size of a deck of cards.

My flexibility toward salmon originated from childhood. I lived in Alaska until I reached eighteen. In Alaska, locals can buy a fishing pass for twenty dollars. Only a few days of determined fishing creates a supply, large enough for the entire winter. When I visited my father this summer, he kept a freezer, designated for fish and other game. A family friend caught over sixty fish on one dip netting trip. This sounds absurd for a person living in Oregon and paying eight dollars for one fillet. Because of the abundance of fish, salmon was utilized in every way shape and form. This habit for salmon experimentation is engraved within my bones. Now I put banana on my cereal. During childhood, I would put a salmon fillet on my Cheerios…

Okay, that might be a stretch!

Keeping my salmon habit alive, I created a salmon burger using fresh onion, garlic, and lemon juice to create a light flavor. There are no heavy sauces. I combined the burger with rosemary, thyme gluten-free, vegan bread from Pamela’s Bread Mix. The salmon was topped with colby jack goat cheese. The Breakfast Salmon Burgers recipe is as follows…

Breakfast Salmon Burgers

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 lb skinned, boneless salmon fillet
  • ¼ cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Prepare greased baking sheet.

Place the salmon fillet into a food processor and blend until meat is pieced and moldable.

In medium sized bowl, combine salmon with onion, garlic, and lemon juice. Mix well. Use hands if necessary.

Salmon, Onion, Garlic, Lemon Juice Mix

Separate salmon into two even portions. Form salmon into balls and flatten into ½ inch pieces on baking sheet. Thinner burgers require less cooking time.

Place baking sheet on middle oven rack. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the burgers are cooked through.

Use only one piece of bread for an open sandwich. Besides the goat cheese, I topped these burgers with tomato and spinach. For a burger, this is a low calorie option. It is a great way to get protein for breakfast if you are like me and cannot eat eggs. They also do not contain the unhealthy fats of bacon. Breakfast Salmon Burger creates diversity in a normal breakfast routine. Low fat, a great substitute for eggs, and a great option for a breakfast pizza lover!

Beet and Pear Pizazz Salad

Let’s face it… salads get boring. Besides the low calories, the desire for vegetable excitement motivates salads to be ordered frequently at restaurants. Restaurants provide the opportunity to eat a salad with a little pizazz.  Many would rather take a vitamin than eat the easy romaine, tomato, cucumber, and carrot combination that is so easy to repeat. In attempts to excite my salad routine, I decided to experiment with beets. Until recently, I never cooked a beet. It was not because I did not enjoy the taste. I just did not know how to cook them. Because of this, beets were a holiday food, when someone else cooked the vegetable for me. It turns out cooking beets is actually very simple. The process reminded me of cooking a potato. Just a little time consuming.

Fun Fact: Beets are a good source of vitamins for cardiovascular health. They contain 27% RDA of daily folate. They also contain anti-oxidants, vitamin A, C, and potassium which lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism.

The two most common methods to cook beets is through roasting and boiling. I decided to boil my beet. By boiling the vegetable, I was enabled to simply slice my beet and add it to a salad while withholding the beets simple and sweet flavor. The recipe is as follows…

Beet and Pear Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized beet
  • 1 pear (I used bosc)
  • ½ cup sliced onions
  • 3 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

 

Direction

Prepare a pot with enough water to cover the beet. Boil water. Wash beet, removing the stems. Insert beet into boiling water. Reduce water to simmer and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes or until a fork easily punctures the beet.

Remove beet from water. Skin should remove, easily. Slice into ¼ inch pieces. Core and cube pear. Slice onions. Prepare a bed of spinach. Add pears, beets, onions, and top with goat cheese.

Works nicely with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

 

Beet and Pear Salad was fresh and light. By using onions and pears, I received an array of flavors. Not to mention, the salad contained essential vitamins and minerals from the vegetable, fruit combination. Beet and Pear Salad rebels against salad’s boring stereotype!

Vegetable Toss

The produce section of Whole Foods is like a chocolate factory for healthy eaters. Somehow, the warm lighting and color arrangement makes the vegetables appear to be mandatory for survival. I am left no choice but to empty my wallet to the leafy greens, beets, and plump fruits. I could almost eat a carrot from the floor. Because of the mind warping produce section, I buy more vegetables than I eat and am constantly throwing food away. Seeing as a collection of produce was aging in my refrigerator, I needed a method to cook multiple varieties of vegetables at once. My result was a simple, Vegetable Toss. This medley is effective to use in abundance of all the varieties of vegetables in your produce drawer. The recipe is as follows…

Vegetable Toss

Ingredients

  • Chopped vegetables (I used carrots, cucumber, leeks, bell pepper, brussel sprouts, and onion)
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • Garlic salt
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Vegetable Medley

Directions

Using whichever vegetables are available, chop into ¼ inch pieces. I halved the brussel sprouts.

In a large frying pan, sauté vegetables until lightly browned in olive oil. Add vegetable broth until broth creates a shallow surface. Add garlic salt, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Vegetable Toss is great on rice for a vegan meal. You can also serve the vegetable medley as a side. The brussel sprouts makes this dish especially filling. I am a strong advocate for onion. The vegetable added flavor. This meal only takes a few minutes in prep time. Besides that, all you have to do is cover and wait. After I added the vegetables to rice, I added more pepper. Vegetable Toss is open to picky eaters. Use whatever vegetables you please! There is no discrimination!

Finished Product