Sunday, June 29, 2008

Armenian Yeast Bread

We were given a loaf of this flat, airy Armenian yeast bread to take home with us. So big. Measured maybe 20 inches long. Delicious with a bit of butter.

Some Traditional Armenian Food

Saturday (yesterday) we went to Newport Beach for a Mushegain Family Reunion.
Here is a picture of our hostess Nancy Mushegain Gabriel getting ready to put
Lahmahjoon (also called Armenian pizza- made with finely ground lamb, tomato sauce , spices, herbs)into the oven to warm up. She purchased these at a local Armenian store.

The other picture is of some very delicious, fresh string cheese..the bowl was huge...nearly 24 inches across. Well, there were 80 people to feed. People would just grab a handful of this cheese and put it on their plates.

They also had a huge platter of humus and a monstrously big bowl of pita bread and a pink bulgar salad and lots of other salads. They grilled big savory meat patties that looked like oval mini meatloaves. Lots of platters of appetizers, too. A big round dessert table under a grandiose chandelier had the best apply cobbler and choclate mousse cake, etc, etc.
We ate out on their big veranda overlooking the harbor.

The word to describe this home, the feast here: OPULENCE. All the people were happy and friendly and we seemed to just be eating for a long time because we were visiting a lot and there was so much food spread out everywhere you looked.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tuna Stroganoff

Amber wanted to make David some Tuna Stroganoff (the way I make it) for his birthday. So I thought I would share my recipe here...

Tuna Stroganoff

Make a white sauce.....

First make a roux with

3 Tablespoons butter
6 level Tablespoons unbleached white flour

You melt the butter in a pot -low heat to med. low heat- and add the flour and whisk with a whisk until it all clumps up together and starts to cook a bit. Then slowly add and whisk in ...

2 cups milk (do not use vanilla soy is too sweet...use reg milk or plain soy milk)

You will continue whisking this mixture until it gets thick...about 5-10 minutes or so. I will stop whisking maybe 20 -30 seconds at a time so I can do other prep squeeze the lemon, or dice the celery...or open the cans of tuna... But basically, you need to pretty much keep whisking or it will begin to burn on the bottom.

When it is thick and creamy (will look like melted ice cream) add ...

a few grinds of fresh black pepper
1 cup sour cream (I use light)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup very finley chopped celery
2 6 oz. cans of tuna (that have been drained)

Stir with spoon. Serve over cooked wide egg noodles (I call the ribbon noodles) and sprinkle with a grind of fresh pepper.

Also, since this is a pretty colorless dish, I serve brightly colored crudites on the side: Carrot sticks, celery stick, cucumber slices, red and green bell pepper strips...

Have fun! Call if you have questions. (760)241-1420

cell (760)217-9368

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Special Sale!

I sent Kelsy to King Ranch Supermarket(a Mexican Supermarket) today for a seedless watermelon, advertised for 9 cents per pound and some bananas at 4 pounds for a dollar.

This is what she came home with and the total shepaid for all of this was $2.34. The watermelon weighed 14.21 lbs.
We have 11 bananas (4.30 lbs.) We are getting spoiled.

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

Ever since my colonoscopy last week, I have been thinking about fiber. The dr. removed one polyp. They sent me away with this advice: eat lots of fiber. I always thought I ate plenty of fiber every day, but actually, I have never kept track. I have never made a list of how many grams of fiber I was eating every day.

I went on the Internet and found the best description of soluble and insolube fiber I ever saw. And it tells how much of each we should eat every day. Here is the article. By the way...the picture above shows both kinds of fiber. The salad is insoluble, the beans are soluble. After the artcile, you will see the recipe for those yummy looking beans. The photo came from the same website as the recipe.

Soluble and Insoluble fiber

Q What is fiber?
A Fiber is found in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc). Fiber is the part of the plant that our bodies CANNOT digest. That means, our bodies don't break down fiber and don't use it for energy or calories.
Q If my body doesn't digest fiber, why do I need it?
A Fiber is very important and helps our bodies stay healthy. Fiber helps our digestive tracts (stomach and intestines) work properly. Fiber also helps our bodies process cholesterol and hormones.
Q How can fiber do both of these jobs? They seem very different.
A Fiber can do both of these jobs because there are two different kinds of fiber: SOLUBLE and INSOLUBLE fiber.
Q How can I tell the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?
A Picture in your mind what a food looks like when it gets wet, for example with milk or water.
Soluble fiber is the type of fiber that gets very gooey and sticky when it gets wet. The best example of soluble fiber is oatmeal. Picture how oatmeal looks and feels after it gets wet. It feels sticky and gooey because it contains a lot of SOLUBLE fiber.
Insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that doesn't change at all when it gets wet. A good example of insoluble fiber is the skin of an apple. If you put an apple skin in water, 3 hours later it still looks like an apple skin. Tough, stringy pieces in celery are insoluble fiber too. An apple skin or piece of celery contains a lot of INSOLUBLE fiber and this is why it doesn't change when it gets wet.

Q What does soluble fiber do for me?
A Soluble fiber does a lot of good things for our bodies, such as helping to lower cholesterol. So, if you have high cholesterol, eating a lot of soluble fiber may help you bring your blood cholesterol levels down.
Also, if you are going through cancer treatment and have diarrhea, soluble fiber can help minimize your diarrhea. Choose foods from the soluble fiber list below; this may help slow your diarrhea down.

Q What does insoluble fiber do for me?
A Insoluble fiber also does a lot of good things for our bodies, such as helping eliminate waste more quickly. Insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation. If you are going through cancer treatment, you may be taking medications that cause constipation. These include medications that help with nausea and pain. If you are constipated, try eating foods with a lot of insoluble fiber (choose from the list below). Just be sure to drink a lot of water with these foods. This will help cut down on gas production and move the waste through your body more quickly.

Q How much soluble and insoluble fiber should I eat every day?
A For good health, experts recommend that we eat at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber every day. This fiber should be a combination of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Most Americans don't even come close to eating this much fiber. Most people eat about 8 to 12 grams every day. That's less than half of the fiber we should be eating!
Start meeting your fiber goal today by choosing a wide variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.) as part of every meal and snack.


Pinquito Beans

NOTES: Pinquito beans are packed in a seasoned liquid. If using pinto beans, drain beans before using.
Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

6 ounces sliced bacon, chopped
3 onions (1 1/2 lb. total), coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
5 cans (15 oz. each) undrained pinquito beans or drained pinto beans (see notes)

1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, frequently stir bacon until crisp, about 4 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon and drain on towels. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings from pan.
2. Add onions and garlic to pan. Stir often until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add green pepper, enchilada sauce, tomato paste, sugar, mustard, beans, and bacon. Stir often until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors are blended, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour into a serving bowl.

11 to 13 cups; 10 to 14 servings
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 181(16% from fat); FAT 3.2g (sat 0.8g); CHOLESTEROL 3.5mg; CARBOHYDRATE 38g; SODIUM 927mg; PROTEIN 9.5g; FIBER 8.5g
Sunset, JULY 2004

Monday, June 16, 2008

99 Cents Store Finds

Today I bought these 3 food items for a total of $2.97
~1 pound big red strawberries from Santa Barbara, CA
~5 pound bag of Russet potatoes from Idaho
~4 huge yellow onions.

I write about this because I feel very grateful to have stores nearby with such good prices for good food.

The potatoes will be used in several meals for the 3 of us here.
(I will make latkes one day, another day I may make potato salad or mojos (oven fries)

The strawberries we will eat out of hand or slice them and mix them with plain yogurt. Mmmm.
The onions...did you know that the sulfur in onions helps your body absorb calcium?

When I make bean burritoes, I first dice an big onion and saute it in olive oil, then when they are soft and sweet, I add a can of refried beans.

I like to use lots of cooked onion in frittatas.

I like to pile a lot of fried sliced onions on our Boca burgers.

It's the simple, natural foods like this that I love.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mid East Meal

Today I had a craving for humus! So I quickly made some. Then I went to the store to get whole wheat pita bread. While I was at it, I made some seasoned bulgar, sliced up some cucumber and washed some grapes. Here is a picture of our mid-day meal...and the recipe I used to make the humus. This humus is excellent!


1 clove garlic, cut in pieces
1 can garbanzo beans (15 oz.), half the liquid reserved and save about 8 beans for garnish
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Put all in blender and blend until smooth.
Spoon into a low flat bowl and drizzle some olive oil on it. Sprinkle with paprika, a bit of black pepper, and chopped parsley or cilantro,. Garnish with the garbanzo beans and some black olives. Serve with the freshest pita bread you can find.

Enjoy! Serves 3 or 4 people.