Meal Prep

I missed posting yesterday and I wish I could say I have a good excuse, but I don’t. I am afraid it is simply a matter of feeling blah. This time of year is difficult. The cold, the stress of the holidays and the diminishing of light all make it difficult to have enthusiasm for writing posts.  All I really want to do is curl up and sleep until winter is over. Of course I don’t have that luxury. Not many of us do.

When it comes to eating oil free that feeling of blah definitely gets in the way. I found a little inspiration from a video that I link to a the bottom of this post, that talks about preping meals for five days. What I really liked was that with careful choices when shopping for sausage and bacon everything they make is oil free. They make a roast chicken with butter, a dozen boiled eggs, some egg cups and some crispy bacon for salads.

Much of the conventional bacon and sausage contains thing like ‘spices, flavorings, garlic and onion powder, natural flavoring, and fruit juices from concentrate, all of which can contain oils. At this point I don’t eat commercial spiced sausage but I do buy ground pork and spice it myself.  If I was really good I would grind the pork myself.

I do buy bacon and ham if it doesn’t list anything other than nitrates or that calls itself ‘uncured’. Uncured meat is still cured it just uses celery salt instead of nitrates. I have heard of people with oil sensitivities still having problems with these meats. Possibly because of the celery salt being contaminated. If I was really good I would buy fresh pork belly and cure it myself. The recipes look very easy to manage but I have always just eaten my pork belly fresh. It’s quite good that way.

If you just don’t like bacon or ham (some people don’t) I would think that it would be easy enough to substitute another meat with some spice in for it in the egg cups they make and the bacon they add to salads.

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Avoiding Oils on Thanksgiving

It’s that time again. Thanksgiving. The time of year we eat turkey and pumpkin pie. Holidays are a little more difficult to navigate for people with food sensitivities. Mostly because we eat food prepared by other people. It can be a lot of work to host meals but I have found that it is worth it, in terms of enjoying the holiday and staying healthy. Sometimes, when others host, it can be enough to bring something safe to eat and stick to it. If neither of these two options are possible please remember that almost every food that can be eaten this holiday can be contaminated with oils.

Turkey– Most conventional birds and breasts are injected with broth or basted with sauces that contain vegetable oils. When cooking, people will grease the pan with oil or stuff the bird with stuffing that contains items that contain vegetable oils.  In order to get an oil free turkey I have to go to my local co-op and buy a fresh bird. The frozen ones all have packets of sauce. The one time I bought one the sauce broke open and contaminated the bird.

Ham– I have found hams that do not list vegetable oils. I have eaten them and felt okay. However I have been told by people who are far more sensitive to oils than I am that they always have a reaction to preserved meats even when they don’t list vegetable oils. I still eat Canadian bacon and ham occasionally but I’m not sure that I should.

Gravy– if the drippings that are used to make gravy contain oils, than the gravy will too. It is possible to make gravy with butter but people can use oil or margarine. Many people use packaged gravies or powdered mixes all of which are likely to contain vegetable oils.

Pumpkin pie– most pie crust is made with Crisco, vegetable oil  or hydrogenated lard.  It is possible to make a crust with butter but most people don’t.

Whipped cream– most cream sold in the grocery store contains mono and diglycerides. It is important to check the ingredient list to make sure there is only cream listed.  If whipped cream is from a can, it probably has oils as well.

Vegetables– These are probably the safest food you can eat, as long as they are not dried. If they are raw and out you can probably be sure they don’t have oils., However the dip that comes with them will almost certainly be loaded with oils. If the vegetables are cooked all bets are off. Make sure they were fresh and simply cooked in water before eating.

Breads and cookies- Even if the bread or cookie does not list oil on its ingredient list, most bakers use oils on the pan to make sure that baked goods don’t stick.

Stuffing– Most stuffings contain bread which contains oils but there are also other ingredients that will contain oils, so be very careful.

Stay safe and have a happy Thanksgiving.

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Crepes

One of the things I got rid of over the last few years was a nonstick frying pan. I never used it except to make crepes and that happened once a year. I figured it wasn’t worth the space. I haven’t missed it.  Last week I found this recipe for egg pancakes online and tried it out using gluten free flour in my little stainless steel pan. They worked great and I realized my one reason for missing a non-stick pan was gone. One of the downsides to this recipe is that you need to make the batter ahead of time. Not always my forte.

Crepes (Egg Pancakes)

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup milk (whole preferable)
  • butter for frying

The recipe called for a whisk, but I used my stick blender. Beat egg(s). Add salt and flour, then beat to combine. Slowly beat in the milk. Cover and refrigerate overnight if possible, or at least 30 minutes.

Heat a small frying pan (6- to 8-inches) over medium-low to medium heat. While pan is heating, whisk your batter briefly. The trick to making sure that your batter doesn’t stick is having the pan hot enough.

Once the pan is hot, coat the bottom with a small pat of butter.  Pour enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan (about 3 T for a 6-inch pan.) I found it worked better to pour a thicker layer and not tilt the pan.  Cook until the top is set. Loosen the pancake from the bottom of the pan, then flip and cook the other side briefly. Once you flip the pancake you will notice it puff up a bit, and seem to “grow” up the sides of the pan. When it stops “growing” it is done. Ideally you don’t want the pancake to brown at all, so adjust your heat as needed. (It’s okay if they get a little brown, so don’t worry if they do!)

Serve immediately

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