Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tummy soothers

Ah, stress. I'm under a lot of stress this week and I can tell - lots of trips to the bathroom. The fun of having Crohn's.

I did discover something yummy, though. Both cinnamon and cumin are tummy soothers - and lord knows I need tummy soothers this week. I was watching Ten Dollar Dinners with Melissa D'Arabian on Sunday and she made a pork loin. The rub was a cumin-cinnamon mixture - she then covered the loin with an herbed crust, which was a bit more than I normally do, but the rub sounded amazing. And I had pork chops in the fridge...

The rub is very, very simple - equal parts cumin and cinnamon, with a healthy pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper (she used cayenne, but I went for soothing and not spicy). Rub into the pork - it's smoky-smelling in the raw, but when the rub starts cooking, the sweet of the cinnamon comes out and it smells AMAZING. It also tastes amazing.

I highly recommend it.

I'm planning on an orgy of cooking next week (post-stress. I always cook post-stress) and possibly some baking. Look for recipes and another post next week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cooking for the Week - January 18th

Happy Civil Rights Day! Here in NH, it's a snowy day, and so I'm craving comfort foods. Sadly, I've got my monthly visitor as well, which means my tummy isn't too happy, so we're going with foods I know I can handle.

I got a great deal on pork chops yesterday, and since I'm cooking for the week, I opted to do an easy grill (love my indoor grill pan!) on them, with just some garlic pepper, so I can put various sauces on them. Hubby loves BBQ sauce, but I forgot to get the kind without HFCS, so no BBQ for me. I'll probably do hoisin on mine instead - very yummy. Four chops grilled - two for us tonight, two for tomorrow/Wednesday.

What I do every Sunday is that I cook for the week, and then I fill my freezer with meals. This week, I've roasted off an entire bag of frozen broccoli (I've found roasting veggies in my oven, with just some olive oil, breaks them down enough so they don't bother my stomach as much), and there's stuffing in the oven now. Four pork chops, and two HUGE chicken breasts (each breast is big enough for me and Hubby to split, so yay!) in a tequila lime marinade.

The one thing I can tell you is make friends with your butcher and/or specialty food market. We have a lovely Co-Op here in town, and a great, great butcher in Raymond called Freetown Yankee Market that I ADORE. The chicken breasts came from them - they make all their own marinades, WITHOUT HFCS, and I've found that unless I'm REALLY flaring, I can eat their stuff.

So, food for the week is almost done. Tonight's dinner is pork chops, stuffing, homemade applesauce from my landlady and roasted broccoli. For the rest of the week, I'll make up some rice in my rice cooker (very handy, as sometimes rice is the only thing I can handle, and the rice cooker means I don't have to watch things), and put everything in containers. Maybe some corn later this week, once my "friend" is gone, but we'll see. I have some sugar snap peas in the freezer too that might be good.

Have a good week, folks!

Welcome to the blog!

Hi, everyone! My name is Val, and I've been living with a mild case of Crohn's disease now for nearly 12 years. I was diagnosed one year out of college, when I had abcesses that just wouldn't go away.

For those of you who don't know what Crohn's disease is, it's an auto-immune disease that affects the entire gastro-intestinal system. The official definition is that it's an inflammation of the gastro-intestinal system - and it can affect you anywhere from the mouth to the anus. It's not a pretty disease. It's not fun. And it's definitely not politically correct, or even very polite. And it's hell if you like to eat.

I love to eat. I've only loved to cook in the past few years, as I've gotten more and more irritated by the fact that I can't eat a lot of the food out there. I'm allergic to high fructose corn syrup, I can't deal with onions in large quantities, and it seems like my stomach randomly decides that it can't handle something else. Nuts. Corn. Raw food. Potatoes. And next week, it will be something else.

If you look, you can find all sorts of recipes for diabetics, and cancer patients, and heart patients, but not for Crohn's patients. We're an odd bunch - the disease is VERY individual, and that whole "Well, I can't eat it this week, but maybe next week" thing is hard to cook for. So I started messing with recipes. And then I decided to share. I'm also trying to lose weight, so I'm looking for healthy recipes that won't send me into the bathroom every 10 minutes.

I won't post every day. I've a full-time day job, I'm a novelist by night, and I'm going to school for paralegal studies. Luckily, my hubby is a saint and we don't have any kids, or I'd be certifiably insane! But I do cook a lot on the weekends, for the week, and so most of my posts will be on Saturdays and Sundays.

Comment away. Share links. Share recipes. I've got a fairly decent library of cookbooks, but I'm always looking for more. Share stories! And most of all, have fun.