Saturday, September 17

Wednesday, April 11

Porphyria-friendly recipe link love

This is a list of Porphyria-friendly recipes from around the web that I've seen this week (and then some).  I do share some of these links on the Facebook page when I find them.  So, if you'd like to get them sooner, make sure you "like" the page to get updates.

  • Artichoke pesto from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes. I would replace the spinach with another green like arugula.
  • Cheesy herbed artichokes from How sweet it is. I *love* artichokes, but I only make them boiled and plain with mayo for dipping. (Don't judge, it's how I grew up eating them. Comfort food at its weirdest?) I've wanted to try them differently, but I had no idea what to do. I would totally make them this way. Although, Gorgonzola = Blue cheese = gross in my mind, so that will defo get switched out. 
  • Buckwheat Patties from While Chasing Kids.  These are just about the only veggie burgers I've seen that doesn't use beans as a base. Leave the flax seed out and replace the cilantro sauce with something more Porph-friendly, like pesto.
  • Toasted ravioli from A Zesty Bite. I love that it is healthier than fried ravioli, but that it's still nice and crunchy from the toasted coating. 
  • Dried fig jam from the TasteSpotting blog. This would be the perfect thing to make with dried figs that I've been holding onto.  I was originally going to make fig bars or homemade fig newtons, but I like this idea better. Plus, it's easier. Tara has been eating a lot of toast lately, so she's been getting into jams as a way to jazz up the toast and add carbs.
  • Egg and bacon bread bowls over at Jo Cooks. Of course the eggs and bacon aren't technically Porph-friendly, but the bread bowls are super customizable.  I am seeing these with the extra bread that was pulled out mixed with rice, maybe cheese, spices, and a bit of some sort of liquid.  Anything would work, as long as it's not too wet.
  • Beetroot tiramisu with pesto croutons from Cooking in Sens.  I'm sharing this purely for the inspired pesto croutons.  I've never thought about that!  It just occurred to me recently that I can make my own croutons with leftover bread and I think pesto croutons would be fab.  Use the recipe for arugula pesto on the blog or your favorite recipe. 
  • Walnut Bella "meatball" subs from Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes (2nd link from them this week).  "Meat" balls made with walnuts, dates, and seasonings. I love meat substitutions that don't rely on beans. Replace the flax egg with a regular egg or egg whites.
  • Mushroom Bread Pudding from Breanna's Recipe Box.  I always want to like bread pudding, but it never lives up to its expectations for me.  However, this recipe looks really good!
  • Cinnamon Apple French Toast Wraps from Food Family Finds.  A tortilla isn't necessarily super high in carbs, so it's what you put in it that's important. I never think about sweet stuffed tortillas, so I love this.  I keep wondering how it would be stuffed with rice pudding (or even just sweetened rice) and some fruit.  
  • Sabudana (Sago) Khicdi from Ambika's Kitchen.  I'm posting this for the inspiration to create a non-traditional breakfast.  I see a sweet version with Israeli couscous as a great substitution.  Maybe using rice milk as the liquid base?  Even if water is used, I could add sugar, spices, and some fruit.  I think I'm going to give this a try.  
  • Penne pasta in a roasted beet sauce by Bev Cooks.  Tomato free and onion free pasta sauce.  Yet one more sauce to add to my must-try recipes.  We like roasted beets at the house, but rarely eat them because they are a bit labor intensive.  Wonder if this sauce would freeze well?

- Sunshine

Tuesday, April 3

Tips for increasing carbohydrates: New series

I'm starting a new series this week on tips for increasing carbohydrates (carbs).

I know one of the things we struggle with is how to keep Tara's carb level within the recommended 300g per day range. We do this by increasing the amount of carbs in a particular meal or snack and by adding in carbs throughout the day with something other than a meal or a snack.

The easiest way for Tara to "sneak" in carbs is to take them in through liquids. (This is, of course, also the easiest way to sneak in and increase your overall calorie intake, but that's a post for another time.) There are times when Tara doesn't feel good, but just can't or won't eat.  It's a lot easier for her to drink something than to try and eat.

Gatorade is Tara's number one choice for liquid carbs. Tara normally drinks at least 2 quarts of extra strength Gatorade a day; she will increase that to 3 quarts during an attack or when she's not feeling so hot.  Fruit punch is the only flavor that she likes.  She prefers the powder over the already made liquid because she is able to control the strength and there are less ingredients.  It's sold in most grocery stores, although we have been having some trouble finding the fruit punch flavor lately. It can be purchased online through places like Amazon (click on photo above).

Unfortunately, Tara's acid reflux has been acting up lately so she hasn't been able to get her full quota.  She might drink 1 quart of watered down mix.  It is because of this, in part, that she's been feeling worse than ever.  There has definitely been a noticeable decrease in her overall health since she reduced the amount of Gatorade she's been drinking.  She said the best she ever felt was when she was consistently drinking 1/2 gallon of fruit punch Gatorade per day.  We've been looking into other alternatives but haven't found anything that is nearly as effective.

What do you do to increase you carb intake level throughout the day?

Friday, March 30

Foods with soy: Cranberry Walnut Dressing

Here's another edition of my ongoing series, "Foods you didn't know had soy."  I'm gonna change how I post the series. I'm going to make this a weekly series and post whatever foods with soy I find during the week instead of waiting until I have a certain amount of items.

You would think I'd be jaded and no longer shocked by all the foods I find that has soy, but I am constantly amazed at how many foods contain it. Almost every time I go to the store, I find something else and snap a pic with my iPhone.

Any food items with soy you've found recently that surprised you?  If so, feel free to take a pic and e-mail it to me.  I'll load them up as part of the series.

- Sunshine

This week's entry is Cranberry Walnut Dressing from Naturally Fresh (I'm not even gonna go there with the company name).  Even though I realize that almost every single ready made dressing has some form of soy in it, I'm always surprised when I find it, especially in the refrigerated (i.e. "fresher") brands.


I really like how this flavor combination sounds and think it would be a great fall fruit dip.  I may end up attempting to recreate it.

And, soybean oil aside, since when did sour cream have so many damn ingredients?

Wednesday, March 28

Review: Barbaras Bakery Strawberry Bars

Hey all,

Just a quick note to let y'all know that I haven't dropped off the blog.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I went to the FoodBloogForum Conference at Disney World in Orlando over St. Patrick's Day Weekend and I was so inspired. I have so many great ideas for this blog and my other blog, Scoops of Sunshine.

There has been some behind the scenes work going on for both of the blogs and I have several posts in the works, including a recap of FoodBlogForum Orlando.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick product review of these strawberry cereal bars from Barbara's Bakery(affiliate link).

One of the main things we struggle with is having easy, portable, and Porphyria-friendly snacks for Tara so that she can grab them for work or have something quick at home.

That's why I was pretty happy when I saw these bars and checked out the ingredients. Most importantly, it has no soy. I got so excited about a soy free "grain" product that I initially overlooked the slightly less than stellar ingredients like red cabbage and canola oil.

They can be a little hard to find. Only one of my local grocery stores carry the strawberry bars. Whole Foods carries a few different flavors, but that's not always convenient for everyone.

On a final note, Barbara's Bakery has several different type of bars, some of which contain soy, so be careful if you are strictly avoiding it.

TCV Quick notes

Pros: Portable, good amount of carbs, low fat, low protein, quick, convenient, dairy free, soy free, tastes good

Cons: Has a few iffy ingredients, can be hard to find.

Verdict: I would definitely buy these again.

Have you tried these bars?
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