Spring!? Where is it? Well, at least the spring asparagus is available and IC Friendly, too! Enjoy!

HERBED CHICKEN WITH ASPARAGUS

1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (if tolerated or try mozzarella)
1/2 teaspoon fresh, diced garlic (or powder)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (without added broth if it is irritating)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups pure chicken stock (cook a chicken or try canned organic for the least irritating ingredients)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

In a shallow dish, mix flour, cheese, garlic and pepper. Reserve 2 tablespoons. Moisten chicken lightly with water. Coat evenly with remaining flour mixture.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add half of the chicken pieces; cook 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken, adding additional oil, if necessary. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

In medium bowl, mix stock, basil, oregano and reserved flour mixture until well blended. Add to skillet along with asparagus. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3-5 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Return chicken to skillet and cook until heated through. Serves 4.

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This make-ahead IC breakfast treat could double as dessert!

French Toast: 6 servings requires 30 minute refrigeration and 45 minute baking time

1 tsp coconut oil

6 cups (9 slices) whole wheat bread (GF if needed)

1 1/2 cups lowfat milk

6 eggs

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 1/4 tsp lemon zest (grated peel)

1 tsp pure vanilla or almond extract

1 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (or raspberries or blackberries)

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Berry Sauce:

2 cups frozen or fresh berries

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp ground ginger or cinnamon

pinch of salt

Coat a 9×9 inch baking dish with coconut oil. Add cubed bread. In a bowl beat milk, eggs, syrup, zest, extract, spice and salt until frothy. Pour berries on over bread then pour egg/milk mixture on top. Press berries and bread down with a fork. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight.

Top with slivered almonds and bake in 350 degree preheated oven on the middle rack for 45 minutes until top is golden brown. Remove from oven, cool and slice into 6 servings.

To make sauce, melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add berries and stir for 3 minutes. Add syrup, zest, spice and salt. Stir 5 more minutes until thickened.

To serve, pour 1/4 cup sauce over each serving. YUM!

Adapted from recipe by EA Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

image1 – PROTEIN TO START THE DAY: 2 eggs, a Greek yogurt or a handful of nuts keeps you full reducing cravings and unhealthy snacking the rest of the day

2 – FOCUS ON CAN, NOT CAN’T: Psychologically, eating more veggies and fruits is more ​empowering than restricting junk food and may help you avoid it

3 – SELF TALK: A conversation about how hungry you are and asking yourself what is motivating the snacking, will help to break the mindless eating habit

4 – KEEP TRACK: An app or on paper, this strategy of making yourself accountable for eating, activity and a regular weigh-in keeps the focus on long-term results not daily ups & downs

5 – LEAVE A QUARTER: Practice leaving a quarter of your normal serving on smaller plates. Most will be satisfied eating less. If it’s genuine hunger, the few leftovers will be filling, and 15 minutes of distracting, non-food activities will take care of persistent cravings

6 – SIT DOWN: Avoid on-the-go eating. Taking your time, paying attention to what you are eating and even socializing, will help you to eat less and avoid tempting snacks later

7 – EAT VEGGIES FIRST: A cup or more of vegetables at every meal not only is more filling, but is key to eating fewer calories while packing in fiber and essential nutrients

8 – SLEEP: Losing just 30 minutes of sleep weeknights, can result in long-term weight gain. Try going to bed early and/or getting up a bit later, an extra 30 minutes seems to work

9 – PLAN FOR SLIPS: Visualize healthy choices in preparation for unplanned events. Choose one favorite appetizer then keep a drink and a napkin in hand to avoid temptation

10 – HYDRATE: Drink water – an obvious choice to prevent drinking calories. Water keeps you full helping to curtail calorie intake when consumed before meals

11 – ANYTHING BUT EXERCISE: Whether it’s “a scenic bike ride” or “a fun walk with friends”, positively renaming thesenecessary activities will result in healthier choices than thinking of them as “painful punishment” or even “exercise”

12 – FEEL GOOD LIST: Write down 10 favorite non-food ideas if you normally use food to feel better. Brewing a cup of tea or window shopping can boost your mood calorie-free

13 – LAZINESS – AN ADVANTAGE: If the food or treats are stored in high cabinets, layers of non-clear wrapping, the freezer or the garage, being lazy makes them less appealing

14 – HATE CHOPPING VEGETABLES: We all do. But in a weak moment, a bag of chips will get in the way if you don’t buy, clean, chop and pack veggies ahead in grab ‘n go portions

15 – CHEAP EATS: Eat just one more meal at home weekly. With money in the bank and an average of 300 fewer calories than restaurant meals, that new, smaller outfit is in reach

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With IC, sometimes eating heart healthy becomes secondary. It is more difficult to find IC friendly recipes that also have the good mono unsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids that are known to influence heart health and diabetes. This recipe while heart healthy, is also filling, satisfying and elegant.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.

Whole wheat baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch slices

1 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme leaves (or Rosemary, dill or basil)

1 clove fresh garlic, finely chopped or grated

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, fresh or dried (if tolerated)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2   5 ounce cans or packs of tuna packed in oil or water without seasoning and without soybean oil (if sensitive)

1/2 cup canned black olives, drained and sliced

1/2 roasted red bell pepper, jarred in oil, drained and diced (or fresh roasted and diced)

1/3 cup pine nuts, finely chopped (or walnuts if tolerated)

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or Parmesan if tolerated)

fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Place bread slices on pan and toast in 400 degree oven 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and remove. In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients except cheese and parsley, flaking tuna with a fork. Carefully and evenly top each slice with tuna mixture pressing down with a spoon to set. Sprinkle each slice with cheese and return to oven for 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from the oven and garnish with parsley.

4 slices: 275 calories, 10 gm fat, 4 gm sat fat, 4 gm fiber, 15 gm protein

For those without IC, a Tbsp each of Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar may be added.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Nothing sounds better than a bowl of comforting soup on a cold day. Try these recipes using winter vegetables.

Garlic Potato Apple Soup

In a large pot melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat Add 1 large peeled, chopped russet potato; 1 small chopped onion (if not tolerated, skip and add another potato); 1 chopped fennel bulb and 2-3 cloves of fresh, minced garlic. Cook about 5 minutes until browned.
Add 3 cups reduced sodium, organic chicken or vegetable broth (or homemade stock) and 2 peeled Gala or Fuji apples.
Bring to a boil; remove from heat. Let cool about 10 minutes. Transfer in small batches to a blender and blend until smooth.
Return to pot. Stir in 1/2 cup cream or lowfat Carnation evaporated milk and heat through stirring to prevent sticking. Season to taste with salt, pepper, fresh rosemary, sage or thyme. Top with fennel fronds when serving. Makes 4 servings.

Cauliflower and Celery Root Soup

In a large pot heat 1/4 cup olive oil over low heat. Add 2 cups (2 onions) chopped, sweet onions (if not tolerated use 2-3 cloves of fresh, minced garlic). Saute over medium heat a few minutes but not browned. Stir in 2 cups diced celery root and 2 cups diced fennel bulb (plus 1/2 cup each if omitting onions) and saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cut up and core a 2 pound medium head of cauliflower into florets. Add cauliflower, 2 cups low sodium, organic chicken or vegetable stock and 2 tsps kosher salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool 10 minutes.
In small batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Pour blended soup into a large pot. Stir in 2 Tbsp heavy cream or evaporated milk. Add salt and pepper to taste and heat until hot. Top with fresh chives or parsley and toasted, cubed French bread when serving. Serves 6.

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.