A new look for the blog, and time for the first Wednesday update. First, sweet things.
1. Blueberry-cream cheese tart
I made this for Valentine's Day. I've been trying my best to limit my sugar intake and the tart only has about 1/3 cup sugar in the whole thing. The recipe is from the Greens cookbook by Deborah Madison. Her recipes come out great, but boy, are they complicated. She has meticulous notes about technique, many of which I disregard. The base of this tart was a mixture of cream cheese and sour cream with lemon and a dash of sugar. I think you could use tofu cream cheese, maybe thinned with a little soy milk, as a good substitute.
2. Rice krispie treats
By the time I remembered to take a picture of these, only two were left. As I said before, they use no refined sugar, yet the texture is exactly like traditional RK treats. The flavor is also the same, with a hint of nut butter. Here is the recipe, via my awesome nutritionist:
1 box rice krispie cereal (brown rice krispies if you can find them)
1 1/3 cups brown rice syrup, or a mixture of rice syrup and barley malt syrup
½ Cup almond, peanut, or cashew butter
1/2 Cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
1/2 Cup chopped dried fruit
Pour cereal into large bowl, add fruit and nuts. Bring rice syrup (or barley malt syrup) and nut butter to a boil. Cook for a few minutes. Pour over cereal mixture, mix, pour into a 9x13 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Moisten hands with cold water and pat to compact.
3. My dietary journey
I started going to a nutritionist a few months ago. My goal was to take a fresh look at my dietary habits, and hopefully drop a few pounds along the way. We discovered the problems I experience are probably due to fluctuating blood sugar. I had to face the fact that my system is very sensitive to caffeine and sugar. Along the way, I:
--read The Low GI Diet by Patrick Holford. It's a great eating plan that's easy enough to do over the long term. It's also quite vegetarian-friendly.
--gave up all sugar and caffeine for two weeks. This was hard but got easier after the first few days.
--started paying more attention to signs of fluctuating blood sugar, and planned five small meals a day.
--decided to eat sweets only on Saturday.
My nutritionist thinks I probably have a problem with high levels of candida albicans. I have many symptoms that point to this, such as lethargy, "brain fog," recurring fungal skin infections, a nose like a bloodhound (seriously, an acute sense of smell is one of the symptoms), and mood swings. Strangely, though, I don't have the problem you'd most associate with women and yeast.
I probably got my candida levels out of whack when I lived in Africa and took an antibiotic every day for two years as an anti-malarial. Broad-spectrum antibiotic use is the most common cause of candida problems. But the other medicine available made me feel like I was going crazy and has a few class action lawsuits against it, so there you go.
If you're interested in taking a candida diagnostic questionnaire, there's one here.
The treatment for candida is a very restrictive diet. As you might guess, it does not involve a lot of desserts. I'll write up my experience with that in the next post.
Also, I'll try to get the other recipes people requested up next week. But between now and then I'm going on a mini-vacation!