goodhealthgourmet's Profile

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New allergy, need help with recipes (Benzoic Acid, Cinnamates, and Balsam of Peru)

I'm sorry to hear that you're both going through this, I know it's not fun. Have a look at these two blogs - hopefully you'll find plenty of meal/recipe ideas within:

I don't want to wander off topic here, but B of P and its derivative components are also very common in cleaning supplies, cosmetics, toiletries & medications, so your wife should check the labels on all the products she uses in those categories as well.

Regarding liquor, yes, whiskey is safe (though you should add vermouth to the no-no list along with beer, wine and gin).

Since warm spices are out, I'd encourage you to focus on preparations that rely heavily on herbs. Pesto is a delicious, versatile option - serve on pasta, or use to coat meat or fish before cooking.

Take advantage of cooking methods that increase or concentrate flavor without the addition of spices (like roasting vegetables or grilling meats and veg).

Other ideas:
A frittata or omelet with lots of veg and some cheese.
Salad with a variety of vegetables, your choice of protein (and/or cheese/nuts/seeds), and homemade vinaigrette or a yogurt-based dressing with herbs.
Homemade hummus, bean dip or baba ghannouj as a spread for pita or lavash (garnish with cucumber slices, sprouts, shredded carrot, etc).
Popcorn with herbs or cheese (or both!) would make a nice crunchy snack.
Oatmeal can go sweet or savory.
Polenta is wonderful with cheese, pesto or an herbed mushroom ragout.
Risotto and other rice or whole grain dishes cooked with homemade stock or broth.
Ricotta or goat cheese mixed with herbs makes a tasty spread or topping for crackers, toast or cucumber; either one can also be lightly sweetened and/or paired with fruit for a light dessert.

Hope that helps!

Recipes (Meal Ideas) for someone who doesn't cook?

Just be sure the salsa doesn't contain any added sugars - tomatoes are carb-y to begin with.

Pesto is another great option for adding tons of flavor and moisture. A mustard-mayo combination seasoned with his favorite herbs and spices also works well.

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2013

I agree - I *love* Viva. I've been using the Kirkland for years just because they [used to be] pretty good and they're less expensive than name brands. Unfortunately after this change I'll be going with Brawny & Viva (depending on what's on sale at various stores).

Dec 24, 2013
goodhealthgourmet in Chains

Costco Food Finds - 4th Quarter 2013

Stick with the Brawny. My Costco didn't have that option so I bought the new Kirkland and they're probably the worst paper towels I've ever used. No absorption whatsoever, they just smear/spread whatever you're trying to wipe up.

Dec 24, 2013
goodhealthgourmet in Chains

Survey: Toaster Oven or Microwave Oven? What is more important to you?

Hey Chem, should I be offended that my vote wasn't worth counting? (I'm kidding, of course. It was sort of buried in a reply:

Dec 19, 2013
goodhealthgourmet in Cookware

Gluten Free... Overblown, by a lot?

"...but there may be wheat flour in the air which causes a problem."
I have to explain this to people all the time. It's also a problem in restaurant kitchens where they make bread, pizza, and/or pasta from scratch - those teeny gluten-laden flour particles float in the air and land in/on everything.

I sympathize with your wife as I am also that sensitive. It makes dining in restaurants and other people's homes extremely difficult, and requires extreme diligence when purchasing ingredients for your own cooking purposes.

Survey: Toaster Oven or Microwave Oven? What is more important to you?

I learned the produce storage trick right here on Chowhound! In my last apartment it seemed like such a waste that I never used the fancy built-in KitchenAid MW, so I was happy to find a way to take advantage of the space (even if it wasn't as the manufacturer intended).

My current place came with a very old, very small countertop-style Magic Chef MW. It took me an hour to scrub down the interior which seemed to be coated with years' worth of splatters (gack). When I finally got it clean I tested it out a few times to see how well it performed, and I discovered that it's pretty useless as an appliance - limited power, precious little interior capacity, uneven heating, and a plate that won't rotate unless the plastic support bracket is in *just* the right position. So I moved it to the top of the refrigerator to free up the counter space, and like its predecessor it now serves as a storage unit for produce.


I'm shuddering at the thought of your ant problem - I had a MASSIVE infestation when I lived right near the beach in San Diego. It was so bad that until the exterminators got it under control I had to sprinkle a border of Comet along the floors around the perimeter of the house to keep them from swarming in. Once they were gone, cleaning up the Comet was a separate nightmare.


My sister stores dishes in her dishwasher. It hasn't worked for years, so after she washes them in the sink she leaves them in the dishwasher to dry.

Dec 10, 2013
goodhealthgourmet in Cookware

Survey: Toaster Oven or Microwave Oven? What is more important to you?

Happy Birthday Duffy! I hope you're having a delicious day ;)

IMHO I didn't find mamachef's remark to be judgmental. It sounded somewhat tongue-in-cheek to me and I think it was just general commentary about generational differences. But that's one of the funny things about communicating on the internet - we all interpret things differently, and we can never be sure we're reading the tone as it was intended. (For all I know I'm wrong about this one, but I know her well, and she really doesn't judge.)

My $0.02 regarding the OT: I'm for the toaster oven all the way - I find it to be far more versatile and useful for my needs. These days my MW mostly just acts as a safe place to stash ripening produce where my curious kitties can't get to it!

Dec 09, 2013
goodhealthgourmet in Cookware

High end retailers latest attempt at getting customers to spend more money and time......(As seen on CNBC!!)

If they want to make me a happier shopper, alcohol isn't the answer. They need to turn off the godawful music they play, lower the heat, and give me a bottle of water. THEN I'll start spending!

I'll be curious to see if these stores raise the prices on any of their merchandise to cover the increased liability insurance premiums they'll likely have to pay.

Favorite paleo chicken breast recipe please!

I never follow exact recipes but I've done riffs on these and they're always good:

Other ideas:
Mediterranean chicken salad with olives, capers, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts & red onion, dressed with a vinaigrette of olive oil & sherry vinegar instead of mayo.

Stuffed chicken breasts - feel free to incorporate cheese if you're primal, otherwise just use a mixture of sautéed minced/diced vegetables like mushrooms, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes...and bacon is always good!

Tandoori-style chicken breasts marinated in coconut milk (or yogurt if primal).

Trying to recall cookies from the past

Assuming you mean Nabisco Heyday Bars, here's a copycat recipe you can try:

I need some good dinner recipies for a convection toaster oven! HELP!

If your toaster oven is decent (and I imagine it is since it has a convection setting) you can still make scaled-down versions of most oven recipes. For larger things like roast chicken or turkey, just break it down and roast individual pieces instead of cooking the entire bird at once. If your toaster oven is large enough you actually can still roast a entire small chicken. I have the large Breville and it accommodates more than you'd expect. I finish frittate in there all the time - just shove the skillet in (handle and all!) and close the door.

Here are some informative discussions to get you started on ideas:

Here are some on baking & cooking without an oven:

And here are some microwave and burner ideas:

How do you take your turkey - gravy, cranberry, give me some of both?

I don't always bother with a roux, but superfine rice flour is my starch of choice when I go that route.

How do you take your turkey - gravy, cranberry, give me some of both?

Depends who did the cooking :) If it's mine, I have some bites with gravy & some with cranberry sauce/compote. If someone else prepared the food I eat the turkey plain because there's usually gluten in the gravy and too much sugar in the cranberry.

Gluten-Free Holiday Dish for (his) Extended Family

For a pre-meal nibble I second hotoynoodle's suggestion of polenta bites, and you have a lot of other topping options - pesto, herbed goat cheese or ricotta, sun-dried tomato spread, mushroom ragout...

Sweet or savory baked Brie (without pastry) served with gluten-free crackers would be nice.

If you want more of a casual snack-type food you could make a couple of different varieties of candied/spiced nuts.

Desserts that will appeal to all ages and can easily be made gluten-free: pumpkin pie; banana or chocolate cream pie; apple crisp or tart; gingerbread, fig or maple bars; pumpkin brownies or blondies; whoopie pies; and of course, ice cream!

Spectacular vegetarian Christmas entree?

They both look wonderful, but the Wellington strikes me as more of a special occasion/holiday dish, so if it was me I'd probably go with that one. You usually can't go wrong with Melissa Clark's recipes, and if I could eat puff pastry I'd be all over it! The only potential drawbacks might be the volume of food you end up with and the time/labor involved - the torta seems more substantial, and would be easier to make in advance if you need to.

Sherry vinegar -- can you help?

Sur la Table and Whole Foods usually have it in stock, and I've seen it at World Market.

And it appears that these specialty stores carry it:

Allergen free gravy

The comment in that link said the molasses is for color. Not something I would do, but to each their own!

Dinner party- vegetarin, gluten free and picky eater?

Aww, you're sweet! But I don't know how much fun it is back there these days unless you like dust & cobwebs ;)

Low Acid Coffee

Always happy to share the knowledge! Skim milk doesn't trigger reflux as badly as the higher-fat options do, but then your coffee sucks :)

Low Acid Coffee

Excellent swap - almond milk can actually ease heartburn. If I'm home when my reflux flares up the first thing I do is pour myself a glass of unsweetened almond milk to sip. If the episode isn't too severe it usually calms my symptoms enough to avoid taking any meds. I know some people swear by chewing a few almonds to keep their GERD in check, but I can't imagine eating anything when my throat and esophagus are burning like that!

I'm glad your father has found a solution that allows him to enjoy his coffee.

Low Acid Coffee

Milk isn't a very good solution. Yes, it initially coats the lining of the esophagus and stomach to soothe symptoms and buffer acid...but it also increases the production and secretion of gastric acid and can actually exacerbate symptoms in many people. Whole milk and cream are particularly problematic - the higher fat content relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter allowing back-flow of the excess acid into the esophagus.

Low Acid Coffee

Perceived acidity as an element of flavor/mouthfeel and actual acid content/pH level aren't the same thing.

I wish I could remember where I read the research paper - I'll have to do some digging. Anyway, the results of the experiment showed that the pH of washed coffee was lower than the pH than dry-processed coffee.

Dinner party- vegetarin, gluten free and picky eater?

I love the fajita bar idea.

I totally spaced on the mention that this was your first post, so welcome to Chowhound! And please don't take it personally that we sort of ran off the rails with some off-topic "discussion" about picky eaters and food allergies. Happens all the time around here - you'll get used to it :)

Dinner party- vegetarin, gluten free and picky eater?

4Snisl, are you camped out in the back of my brain? Polenta with mushroom ragout, risotto with butternut squash & mushrooms, and a frittata or Spanish tortilla were going to be my top suggestions :) So I second all of them!

Low Acid Coffee

I don't know anything about the Starbucks blonde roast so I just read the info on their website. The beans are wet-processed (as opposed to dry), which reduces the acid content. The acidity of the blonde roasts is listed as "medium," but they must be less acidic than dry-processed light roasts thanks to the washing, so I stand corrected on this particular choice!

The problem with Mocha-Java is the wide variation in the blend of beans and the level of roast because there's no universal standard for it anymore. So as you said, *some* M-J is low acid, you just have to know what to look for. I'm glad DH found one he likes that doesn't give him trouble.

Persimmon recipe suggestion

jmnewel beat me to it. Fuyu persimmons are wonderful just as they are (you don't even have to remove the peel). But if you want to do something else with them you have plenty of options.

- Wrap slices with prosciutto or bresaola for an appetizer or snack
- Replace some of the tomato with diced persimmon in homemade salsa
- Make persimmon chutney or relish
- Add to homemade cranberry sauce
- Sauté diced or thinly sliced persimmon with butter, cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup; use as a topping for yogurt, ice cream, pancakes or waffles, or as a filling for crepes
- Substitute persimmon for apple or pear in your favorite tart, pie, crumble or brad pudding
- Substitute for apple or pear in savory dishes like stuffing, rice pilaf or chicken salad
- Slice and oven-dry
- Add chunks of persimmon to the mix when roasting root vegetables

Some of my favorite flavors/ingredients to pair with persimmon: hazelnut, walnut, ginger, cinnamon, sage, pomegranate, chocolate, maple, almond...

Low Acid Coffee

I can't weight in on products that are specifically marketed as "low-acid" because I've never tried any, though I've seen one on the shelves at Trader Joe's for years so it must be popular.

Some tips for a naturally low-acid cup:
- Beans grown at lower altitudes are typically lowest in acid, so look for coffees from Brazil, India and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
- Coarse grounds yield a lower-acid brew than fine grounds.
- Roasting has a major impact on the levels of acid *and* caffeine - which can also trigger heartburn - so opt for medium-dark or dark roasts.

I suffer from pretty severe GERD, yet my morning cup of my beloved Peet's Aged Sumatra (which I brew in my Aeropress with *hot* water) never triggers an episode.

Low Acid Coffee

The OP should steer clear of light & mild brews - the darker the roast, the lower the acid.

Your back of the cupboard, out of date food stuff

When my dad passed away a couple of years ago he left behind a huge liquor inventory. He stopped drinking a long time ago, but after years of buying wine & spirits by the case to give out as gifts he had amassed quite the collection.

My sister and I sat down to inventory all of it, and when I finally got around to checking the little bar cabinet in his home office I couldn't believe what I found. There was a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 20-year-old that he had opened at some point, barely used, and never closed properly. It was probably sitting like that for years, and unfortunately the oxidation killed it. Dad never cared much about money or material things, but I imagine he might have been a teeny bit upset about this one - a bottle of the very same bourbon just sold at auction for nearly $1200 last month in NYC. Ouch.

But back to the OP, aside from the occasional bottle of wine that turns on me when I forget about it (gee, I wonder where I get that from?) the turnover rate is pretty high in my kitchen. I organize the refrigerator, freezer and cabinets regularly, and I do a major cleaning of them a few times each year to get rid of/use up anything that's been languishing. It also helps that I move a lot - the less I have to pack up, the better.

My parents' house was another story - when I tackled their kitchen and pantry I unearthed things that had been sitting there for DECADES.