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No time for breakfast? No IC appropriate or convenient choices? This recipe practically makes itself with just a bit of effort the night before. So make mornings less chaotic and join the “overnight oats” bandwagon without irritating your IC.

Yields: 1 serving Prep time: 5 minutes
small jelly jar and lid or 8 oz canning jar and lid

1/2 cup old fashioned oats (or steel cut or gluten free if needed)
1/2 cup lowfat milk
1/3 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (if tolerated)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped, fresh apple slices with peel
Tablepoon sliced almonds
1/2 tablespoon honey

In a small resealable jar combine oats, milk, yogurt, cinnamon and salt. Seal jar with a lid and shake well. Refrigerate overnight. Top with fruit and honey and eat.

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Everyone wants an IC grocery shopping list. Well, I couldn’t come up with one that would satisfy everyone, but I do have these recommendations for the top 15 healthiest choices.

FRIDGE:
Eggs – Try Omega-3 eggs (like Eggland’s Best) for anti-inflammatory properties, or any for a complete protein source and quick meals

Baby spinach/greens – Nature’s nutrient power-house (vitamin A, C, Calcium, fiber, folate, potassium and anti-oxidants) toss in pasta or soup or “hide” by blenderizing into sauces or smoothies

Colored Sweet Bell Peppers – Not the green or hot ones, twice as much vitamin C as an orange and a terrific tomato substitute – easy to oven roast to really bring out the flavor

Apples – Gala and Fuji are most IC friendly, only 80 calories, full of fiber and sweet. Other types (not Granny Smith) are “try-it”s. Topping for oatmeal and a snack mate for peanut butter

Greek Yogurt – It may be a “try-it” item, but so full of calcium, protein, magnesium, probiotics and vitamin D. Organic types may have less sugar and fewer preservatives. Skip artificially sweetened and those flavored with “avoid” fruits and flavors

FROZEN:
Blueberries – Frozen, fresh or dried – a super source of vitamin C, fiber and anti-oxidants – the best cranberry substitute. Raspberries blackberries and cherries are “try-it” options

90% lean turkey or chicken – check labels and avoid those with “added broth”, flavorings and preservatives. High in protein, iron, zinc and fewer calories than beef

Frozen veggies – Frozen can retain more nutrients than “fresh” depending how long it’s been sitting at the store or traveling. Avoid added sauces and season with IC friendly herbs

Frozen Shrimp – low-cal, high protein – so easy for quick dinners or an appetizer. Excellent with basil pesto

PANTRY:
Pouch “tuna style” salmon or light tuna – a major source of Omega 3’s, a low-cal protein and at times the only appetizing seafood available. A patty recipe on the label was IC friendly minus the Worcestershire sauce

Nuts – Almonds, peanuts and cashews – not just for snacking – filling and chock full of anti-inflammatory oils, vegetarian, gluten-free, fiber, iron, vitamin E and a good source of protein. If calories are a concern – limit to 20-30 per serving

Nut Butters – Don’t be afraid of the price. Compared to meat it’s a cheap protein alternative and an amazing apple, celery topper

Canned (or frozen) lentils, chick peas and white beasns – Tons of fiber, protein and healthy carbs – another cheap IC meat sub. Rinse, season with garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil and basil then toss with roasted red peppers and pasta or salad – no cooking!

Oats – Learn to love it, an IC lifesaver! Bladder-soothing, high fiber and all natural. Make ahead and refrigerate to save time

Olive Oil – Heart healthy, anti-inflammatory and a few teaspoons with herbs adds lots of flavor and not too many calories

lasagna

Having a big gathering at your place? Here is a recipe that will satisfy large crowds and keep your IC happy.
Tomato based sauce can be offered on the side or added to the layers in a second pan for those without IC .

Serves 6-8
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and grease or spray a 9 by 13 inch baking dish

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp brown sugar
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp nutmeg (if tolerated although in this quantity, may not be a problem)
2 tsps fresh thyme, chopped
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and chopped or a large container of baby spinach washed, stems removed and chopped
(about 4 cups)
1 pound low-fat ricotta cheese
another 1/2 tsp nutmeg
6 fresh sage sprigs, chopped and 2 more for topping
Mozzarella cheese, low-fat or regular, shredded to make 1/2 cup plus some to sprinkle on top if desired
1 cup fresh pecorino cheese, grated (or fresh grated parmesan) plus 2-3 Tbsp to sprinkle on top
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles, whole wheat (or 1 pound pasta)
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add butternut squash and sprinkle with brown sugar and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring frequently to avoid burning until browned. Add garlic, nutmeg, and thyme, cook 5 minutes more.
Remove from heat and add kale, cover and let sit 10 minutes until kale wilts.
In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese with remaining 1/2 tsp nutmeg, sage, mozzarella cheese, pecorino or parmesan cheese and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Heavily spray or butter a 9 by 13 baking dish and layer with 1/3 of the lasagna noodles. Add 1/3 of the kale/squash mixture layered over the noodles. Add 1/3 of the cheese mixture and drizzle with a little olive oil. Repeat the layering 2 more times or until all is used. Drizzle a little olive oil over top. Sprinkle with pecorino or parmesan and sage leaves as the top layer. If you like a browned, crunchy top, add a final topping of mozzarella after initial baking and bake 10 more minutes or until mozzarella is browned.
Cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray and refrigerate up to 3 days. Or bake immediately at 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes and uncovered 10 more if topping with mozzarella. If you are baking after refrigeration, add 15-20 minutes to baking time.
Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds (or pine nuts) and serve.

Modified from Half-Baked Harvest Florentine Lasagna recipe

Celebrate the New Year with 2 IC-safe recipes that can be shared with non-IC friends. Great ideas for a winter pot-luck!!

IC FRIENDLY CREAMY CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES

2 cups of cooked, chunked chicken
1 15-oz. can pure, organic chicken or vegetable broth (or stock from home-cooked chicken)
10 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped sweet onion (if tolerated) or substitute 2 teaspoons IC Friendly fresh, minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/8 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (broccoli cuts, carrots, cauliflower florets, etc.)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 – 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (if tolerated) or shredded mozzarella

Place all ingredients except chicken broth, cornstarch and grated cheese in a large saucepan. Mix together. Reserve 1/2 cup broth. Add remaining broth to the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Mix reserved broth, cornstarch and cheese. Stir the mixture into the other ingredients and boil for one minute to thicken. Serve over a favorite rice, pasta or phyllo or pie crust baked in muffin cups. Serves 4 – 6.

WHITE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES IC RECIPE

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup softened butter
1/2 cup canola oil
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white “chocolate”, organic chips or chunks (find those with the fewest ingredients to avoid preservatives if bothersome) peanut butter or butterscotch chips are also good (if tolerated) or substitute a cup of IC friendly carob chips
1 cup brown or golden raisins (if tolerated) or substitute 1/2 cup IC friendly chopped almonds or cashews

Beat together sugars, butter, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla and milk. Mix in flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir in white chocolate chips & raisins. Drop onto a greased or parchment papered cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 13 minutes. Tops should be light brown. Makes 4 – 5 dozen.

Thank you to Marcia, our IC recipe chef!!

turkey pot pie

Here is a recipe from Parade Magazine that is adaptable to the IC diet.

Serves 4 Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil
Ingredients:
4 T butter
1 T diced garlic
2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 stick of celery, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
4 T flour
2 1/2 cups turkey, chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium, organic)
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
3/4 tsp dried or 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded skinless turkey or chicken meat (organic, broth-free or preservative free)
1/2 cup peas
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (some contain citric acid low on the ingredient list – a try-it item)
1 large egg
Preparation:
Warm butter in a large saucepan on low heat. Add garlic, carrot and celery, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until tender 10 min.
Sprinkle with flour and cook 3 min, stirring constantly. Pour in broth and cream/milk. Stir in thyme. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat and gently simmer 10 min until thick and stir to prevent sticking.
Remove from heat. Stir in chicken or turkey, peas and parsley. Divide into 4 8 ounce ramekins. Place on rimmed, foil-covered baking sheet.
Place puff pastry on lightly floured surface. Slice into 4 inch squares and place over ramekins.
Whisk egg and 1 T water in a small bowl. Brush pastry tops with egg mixture.
Bake until golden and bubbly about 35 minutes in 375 degree oven. Let stand 5 min then serve.

We hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving and were able to sample some TG specialties (yes, thyme, sage and rosemary, favorite TG herbs, are IC friendly) thanks to a little Prelief and choosing apples over cranberries!

Here are two holiday dips to use on Christmas or New Year’s Day. Thank you, Marcia!

PUMPKIN-MAPLE DIP
In a food processor, combine a 4-oz. package (not tub) room temperature cream cheese, 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree, 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (if tolerated) and a pinch of salt. Process until smooth. Place in serving bowl.
Serve with sliced Gala or Fuji apples, Ace brand whole wheat bread (no preservatives) or graham crackers (if tolerated). Makes 2 cups.

pumpkin maple dip

CARAMELIZED ONION AND WHITE BEAN DIP
In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add 2 large thinly sliced sweet onions (cooking onions sometimes makes them more tolerable); sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned, about 40 minutes. If onions start to burn, add a little water and stir. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Set aside 1 tablespoon onions for garnish. Place remainder in a food processor with 1 14-oz. can drained and rinsed white beans, 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Place into serving bowl and top with reserved onions.
Serve with potato chips (check ingredients: IC friendly chips contain potatoes, vegetable oil, no soybean oil and salt) sliced veggies like IC friendly carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and our favorite, red, orange and yellow sweet bell peppers (green if tolerated), or a preservative free whole wheat pita or flat bread. Makes about 2 cups.
If you don’t have a food processor, a blender or hand mixer works.

bean dip

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Does the holiday season have you running ragged? Here’s a slowwww-cooker recipe that will warm you up and not keep you in the kitchen too long.
If you’d rather take the time, just bring it to a boil on the stove, reduce to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft (nuke the potatoes in the microwave first if you’re really impatient).

If made with organic vegetable stock, it is vegan as well. Add additional vegetables like spinach or kale if you need more fiber and vitamins, beans for vegetarian protein or grilled pork to satisfy the meat-eaters, too.

Serves 4
Ingredients:
3 lbs. sweet potatoes, roughly chopped and peeled or not
1 sweet onion, chopped (if tolerated or omit)
2 stalks of sliced celery
2 chopped medium carrots
1-2 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
5 cups of organic low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup of coconut milk
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper or cinnamon, all-spice or nutmeg (if tolerated) to taste
Preparation:
Place all ingredients except the coconut milk in a slow cooker. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low 6 hours or on high for 4 hours. Puree everything in a blender or leave chunky. Add coconut milk, stir thoroughly and cook another 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve warm with a sprig of parsley for color.