“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)
This post about Halloween and the American Presidential Election may seem a bit like Jekyll and Hyde, morphing from one strange topic to the next, but there really is a diabetic foundation in discussing both these timely topics, and I’m throwing them in together, so you have time to think and act about them, as do I. Of course, for diabetic children, Halloween is already a nightmare, and the possibilities of the “other” candidate (than the one you “want”) actually being the election winner, well, that’s a nightmare-in the-making, maybe for all of us. Only time will tell, but both candidates do not really seem to have health plans that will help America get a real handle on the health problems real people face, and I also believe that unbiased and untainted by drug-money education, on a wide-scale, is needed to help everyone learn better choices, as well as better regulation of what is named “food”. Some will say these worries (that times will remain nightmarish), are just ghostly spectres and imagination run wild, but I’m well read, and I’m concerned.
So, first, let’s tackle Halloween — options for healthy, quick meals and treats, then on to the first of 2 just-before-the-Election posts.
You may want to change the names on the recipes to things appropriate for Halloween that will tickle kid’s fancies. One of the things I do when I am still with kids on Halloween is to make this before-Treating dinner lots of fun — with a decorated table, the adults in a somewhat-costume and the foods named ghastly-ghostly names. They seem to look forward to it all better and eat decently, rather than wanting to just rush out for candy.
SALMON CHOWDER: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=476
Serves 4 (or more if just for kids)
You can use another cold-water, high Omega-3 fish like cod, pollock, trout or whiting (possibly, I have to track its Omega-3s) for this chowder, instead, to cut cost. Make sure that you limit the amount of liquid served in the bowl to young children, before they go out to Trick-or-Treat, (no bathrooms easily available!). And remember to give them another warm drink after they finish outside. You can make this chowder the day before, and then just heat it gently, so it doesn’t boil. You will have to watch it and stir it while its reheating. It’s a one-bowl meal.
1 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
2 large Russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced [I don't peel them]
2 carrots, scrubbed, peeled and diced [I don't peel them]
2 cups vegetable stock [comes in cartons, if no time to make your own]
1/2 cup organic whole milk
1/2 cup organic half-and-half **
1 1/2 pounds wild-caught salmon fillet, skinned, boned and cut into 1-inch cubes ***
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried dill
Sea salt and cayenne or freshly ground pepper to taste
GARNISH:1 tablespoon minced fresh or dried chives for garnish
Oyster crackers for garnish (optional and remember, wheat contains gluten – so wheat is not for any people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity! Ask parents, if you are having guests.)
Brown “bacon” in a deep, heavy-bottomed sauce pot until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Sauté onion and celery in the fat or in some olive oil (if you are not using “bacon”), in the same pot until onion is translucent. Add potatoes and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not brown. Add carrots and stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are fork tender about 10 minutes.
Add milk, half and half, salmon, parsley, dill and pepper. Simmer over low heat 5 to 8 minutes or until fish is cooked through and liquid is steaming, but not boiling. Add more pepper and salt to taste. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with crispy “bacon” pieces and chives. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.
Per serving (about 19oz/533g-wt.): 540 calories (230 from fat), 25g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 135mg cholesterol, 930mg sodium, 32g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 46g protein
* For Kosher or Halal, if you have Jewish or Muslim children at your table, then you can only use vegetarian “bacon”, if you use any at all.
** It is necessary to use organic dairy products as environmental toxins reside in the fat of animals and their products. Animals grazing on organic land have less of these residues.
*** You might also try a few cans of boneless, skinless wild-caught canned salmon, for the soup, instead of fresh. The soup will prabably cook faster as the chunks are smaller. If you use fresh fish, don’t use farmed fish (unless you buy it at Whole Foods, which has a far more rigid criteria for farmer’s aquacultural practices than other markets have, even other health food chains I know).
And, run the tip of your clean finger along both edge areas of the flesh side, about 1″ in; look for “pin bones”, tiny cut bones that rise above the flesh just slightly. Use a well-washed pair of tweezers to pull them out before you cube the fillet; these bones are surpisingly long, and you do not want them hiding. Search for them while the fillet is whole.
GLUTEN-FREE, VEGETARIAN SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN ENCHILADAS http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/budgetrecipechallenge/recipe2.php
Serves 4 (or more, if younger children)
Especially if this is a children’s party, you need to find out if anyone MUST have gluten-free food. Of course, the less we eat gluten grains (wheat, barley, oats and rye) the better we will be, especially wheat, as it is SO overused (this alone creates allergies). This recipe won the Budget Meals Contest at Whole Foods, and on the sidebar, you’ll find other runner-up budget recipes. This recipe is pretty fast, and should hold well in a warm oven. Serve with a green salad or the Refrigerator Slaw (see link).
This is also vegetarian, so all children can be included without worries about Kosher and Halal.
Quickie Green Chile Sauce
- 1 cup light vegetable broth [you can use carton veggie broth]
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch dissolved in a little cold water [pour the water in a little at a time]
- 1 generous cup chopped roasted, mild green chiles
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon cumin or mild chili powder, to taste
- 1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, rinsed, drained
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Fresh lime juice from 1 big juicy lime
- 2 heaping cups cooked, diced sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted mild green chiles [or use red pimentos]
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon mild chili powder
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
- 8 white or yellow no-GMO corn tortillas * or spelt tortillas
- 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Serves 4 (using 2 enchiladas, each). approximately $2.59 per serving
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Choose a baking dish that would hold 8 rolled enchiladas.
For the Enchilada Filling, using a mixing bowl, combine the drained black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. Toss to coat the beans and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the cooked sweet potatoes with the chopped green chiles; add the spices. Season with sea salt and pepper.
In the meantime, make your Quickie Green Chile Sauce by combining the broth, dissolved arrowroot, green chiles, garlic and spices in a sauce pan and heating over medium-high heat. Bring to a high simmer. Simmer until thickened. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
Pour about 1/4 cup of the Quickie Green Chile Sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.
To assemble the enchiladas, grab a skillet and heat a dash of oil. Lightly cook the corn tortillas to soften them, one at a time, as you stuff each one.
Lay the first hot tortilla in the sauced baking dish; wet it with the sauce. Spoon 1/8 of the sweet potato mixture down the center. Top with 1/8 of the black beans. Wrap and roll the tortilla to the end of the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. Top with the rest of the sauce. Top with a sprinkle of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the enchiladas are piping hot and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Serve with a green salad or the make-ahead Refrigerator Slaw recipe from: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipeId=2187 .
Per serving (about 14oz/405g-wt.): 500 calories (190 from fat), 21g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 980mg sodium, 64g total carbohydrate (11g dietary fiber, 11g sugar), 18g protein
* No GMO corn is essential. Most of America’s corn is now Genetically Modified! This means that shrimp genes, or anything else, can be “inserted” into corn. You never know what’s been inserted, and people with allergies, are living a nightmare! I included spelt as an option here, as some celiacs and those with gluten intolerance can use this ancient grain (an ancestor of wheat) and as I hate corn tortillas, I wanted to alert you to another possible option. Ask the parents of any special needs kids if they know whether their child can use spelt; if no-one has a food sensitivity, then I encourage you to opt for spelt, anyway, to reduce your dependence on wheat, and the increased chance that wheat overuse will cause food allergy in the future. Any good health store should have spelt products.
Use this recipe for dessert, but also make “extra”. You might use these as bribes to retrieve hoards of other less healthy candies! In any event, make sure you go through any diabetic child’s treat bag, together, and negotiate other more suitable “treats” for your child to “buy” with their candy — maybe even fun ACTIVITIES rather than just other candy. Hopefully, they won’t get to eat much of what they collected.
Chocolate also is a pH acid food, as is sugar and agave (all in varying degrees), so to counteract the negative effects of so much pH acid food, be sure to have meals that offer lots of pH neutral and pH alkaline foods (see the Reference section for more info).
LOW GLYCEMIC CHOCOLATE EARTH BALLS
1/3 cup organic honey * OR 1/4 cup agave nectar **
2 t - 4 teaspoons carob powder or unsweetened organic cocoa powder
1/2 cup organic raisins
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded organic coconut, divided
1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
Before measuring the nut butter, stir it up well.
Mix the nut butter, honey and carob or cocoa powder until well combined. Stir in the raisins and 2 tablespoons of the coconut. Stir in the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.
There will be about 1/2 the glycemic effect of honey, if you use agave nectar, so a diabetic’s blood sugar level is much less effected. The pH of honey is more alkaline than that of agave. The carbs are not a lot different; there is a small difference toward benefit from the agave. NEVER use high fructose corn syrup! See my posts about why in the Titles Archive.
I was really in a conundrum about what to hand out to the children this Halloween. It’s always a wrestling with my conscience versus the desire to help them have fun. This time I settled on a wrapped square of Ghiaradelli dark chocolate, as only this form of chocolate is “healthy”. Dark chocolate has lots of antioxidants, at least, and a whole lot less sugar and fillers. Cost was ten cents a piece at my local employee-owned chain.
* Whole Foods house brand of raw, organic honey has excellent flavor and consistency. Raw honey should not be used for any child under 3 years old.
** There is a large variance in the agave products. Read the post at: http://www.dld123.com/sweetsavvy/sweeteners/summary.php?id=Agave%20Nectar
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Well, there’s not much space left for the election comment, so I’ll try to write another post before the beginning of next week, but meantime, do read your voter’s pamphlet and vote in an aware way on all the OTHER items on your state’s agenda (and local agenda). These are often more important to you, in real life.
As far as the national scene, Congress has been either asleep at the wheel or “bought” or “gutless” or just plain do-nothing! HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. Only one of your senators will be up for re-election this time, and all of your state’s Representatives are. Really take the time to understand their positions, understand who their largest campaign contributors have been and are now! Look to see the way they voted on the recent, ill-conceived Wall Street bail-out. For their record on that vote, start with:
Quiz them in person, fax or write to them online and get an answer as to whether they will vote for campaign reform. Get a detailed answer on their ideas for an effective solution for universal Health Care and programs for Health Education and for Prevention.
Ask them how they intend to roll-back the powers grabbed by the Executive Branch (with Congress’ acquiesence or ignorance). Ask them if they intend to restore Posse Comitas, a basic Constitutional freedom. Find out if your candidate even knows what it is!
Get their ideas about how to restore our Freedoms lost to the Patriot Act, and to protect Americans against the abuse-of-power forays of our own Government. Constitutionally, ALL rights that citizens do not give to their Government reside as rights of the People — our Government is trying to forget that. The Founding Fathers knew that Governments grasp for Power, and tried to protect We The People FROM our Government. We now need a clean-sweep of anyone who does not know how to be a PUBLIC SERVANT!
Campaign Reform comes before all else, because otherwise old-ways persist, and globalist corporations run our Government (and for very little money from THEIR coffers, I might add).
And, if you find you are having trouble when you actually try to vote, then use the following as a resource; you will need to buy it at a bookstore. The state-by-state information in the second half, is definitely useful. This tip comes via a poster at a new, savvy blog I’ve joined at www.walkaboutjones.com www.walkaboutjones.com/forum The specific thread is: http://www.walkaboutjones.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=70 and the AlterNet reporter Steven Rosenfeld comes to the rescue with his book “Count My Vote – A Citizen’s Guide to Voting” at: http://firedoglake.com/2008/09/30/book-salon-count-my-vote/
Best to all — Em
P.S. Be sure to also check out the rest of the Title Archive from the tab on the upper Navigation Bar. Enjoy!
(c)2008 Em http://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
Please respect my copyright, and if you would like to quote from or use my article, be sure to include my copyright information and website location in your footnotes or Reference section. Thanks!