Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BBQ Kale Chips

Our friend, Diane, brought me sour cream and onion kale chips and Practically Raw by Amber Shea Crawley to thumb through. We made the sour cream and onion kale chips and the pizza kale chips in the book (we loved the book so much we purchased it), but there weren't any for BBQ kale chips. Looking at the ingredients on a Lays bag, we created this one. After our first batch we thought it needed a little more of a kick, so we altered it.

2/3 cups cashews soaked for 2-6 hours, drained, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2-6 hours, drained and save the soaking water
4 TBS soaking water from the sun-dried tomatoes
2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS agave nectar
1/4 cup  nutritional yeast
1 TBS smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder (chipotle powder could also be used for a spicier chip)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Blend the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

6-8 cups of kale, torn into small pieces with the large veins removed. The veins are great for smoothies.

Massage the blended sauce on the kale. Place on dehydrator sheet in a single layer (for us this is 3 trays in an Excalibur) and dehydrate at 110 for 12 hours.

Sugar Snap Salad

The weather has turned warm, spring and summer salads with fresh vegetables will be our summer staples. We are starting our harvest of sugar snaps.

1 pound sugar snaps, diced
1 pound cherry, grape or heirloom tomatoes, halved
1/14 cup minced onion

Mustard Dressing (this is a modification from Dr Greger's Book How not to Die, thanks Donna)
2 TBS almond meal
3 cloves garlic
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS chickpea miso
3 TBS lemon juice
1/3 cup water

Pour the dressing over the vegetables and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, overnight is best.

Simple Green Bean Summer Salad

Green beans and tomatoes are starting to show up in NC, so we had to make something with them.

1 pound green beans, diced
2 cups cherry (or grape or heirlooms....) tomatoes, halved
1 clove of garlic minced

Place the cut ingredients in a bowl

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 pepper

Whisk the dressing then pour over the beans and tomatoes. It is best if allowed to marinade for at least 30 minutes, overnight is even better.

Friday, May 20, 2016

My husband has esophageal cancer

April 1st my husband passed out at 5 AM on our bedroom floor. The night before we had walked five miles for our dinner date. He had felt nauseated and didn't eat. I called EMS and all of us thought he had a heart attack. Off the the ED he went. April 2nd we were told he had an esophageal bleed and possibly esophageal cancer.  We began his daily intake of freeze dried strawberries from research sent to us my Dr. Gregor. He has also started turmeric and ginger as well as apricot seeds.
The first biopsy was long high grade dysplasia with  Barrett's with a high amount of inflammation. The second, three weeks later, confirmed T1b esophageal cancer. Next was the CT scan, which had a upper left lobe lung spot in addition to the esophagus, and an endoscopic ultrasound to measure the depth of the tumor. Then the PET, the esophageal area as well as the lung lit up. In the mean time we had met with my GI for suggestions. He suggested Dr. Nick Shaheen for a resectioning of the tumor area and then cyrotherapy treatment for the Barrett's.
We have met with two oncologists, needing a second opinion. Both recommended an esophagectomy and a lung biopsy with a possibly remove of the upper left lobe if it isn't a metastasis. Neither thought that was likely but they wouldn't rule it out. The lung spot is shaped similar to a sweet gum ball (cancer like shape) but hollow.  The second opinion thought has less than a 45% change of being cancer.
We have also met with Shaheen. He is willing to do the resectioning and it is scheduled, but if it were him , Shaheen, he would go the route of the esophagectomy.

This is from my husband:
Dr. Shaheen explained that the cancer in the esophagus is at least slightly in the second layer. That means a 5 - 21% probability that it has spread to the lymph nodes. It could be in layer 3, which would mean a 22 - 54% probability. If they take out JUST the cancer and it IS in the lymph nodes, then it will eventually spread and show up somewhere else and I'll be on chemo or radiation or something to address that.

Meanwhile, every two months or so, he will go back in using same-day endoscopy to "clean up" the Barrett's esophagus and high-grade dysplasia that is a precursor for esophageal cancer. Then checkups every couple months to see if anything resurfaces.

We are putting the lung spot on hold. If it is cancer, it should be larger when we do the next scans two or three months after the resection of the esophagus. If so, we'll have it removed, biopsied and remove a lobe of the lung if it checks out positive for cancer. Then they can do extensive forensics on it and prove conclusively whether it came from the esophagus.

If it is positive AND came from the esophagus, I'll go on chemo and radiation therapy for metastasized cancer but I'll still have my esophagus. (And might already be on chemo and radiation from paragraph (1) above.)

There is still a point where the esophagus could go: If the resection cannot be done once they get in there because the tumor is deeper than the biopsy or pathology reports indicate they would take what they can and probably recommend strongly that the esophagus be removed.

Interestingly, the doctor today indicated that because of my excellent overall health and vitality, an esophagectomy would only have me laid up for two weeks (vs. the 6 to 8 weeks the other doctors quoted me).

So, again, I'm taking a small risk that could put me on chemo and radiation that I may avoid with the immediate esophagectomy. But for some reason I feel better about weathering that storm than the surgery.

You want to have a frustrating time, try figuring out how long you are going to live under various scenarios, including healthy ones! The average life expectancy of a 60-year-old male is 83. The average life expectancy of a 42-year-old male is 78. The fact that you made it to 60 actually increases your chances of living longer.

Now, if you have esophageal cancer of the mildest type (which I have) only 40% live five years. But who are those people who die before then? Do they die of the cancer or the treatment or an unrelated heart attack? How old are they? Are they otherwise healthy? And the biggest question: How long does someone live if they are otherwise healthy, 60 years old but feel like 45, have been drug and medicine free their whole lives, never smoked, drink in moderation, have exceptionally low blood pressure, no heart issues, etc, etc, etc?

No real answers. It is basically a crap shoot, right? So does it really matter if I have a 22% chance of metastasizing if my overall chances of living five years are 40%?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Vegan Spinach and Artichoke Dip

We altered our Philadelphia Cream Cheese recipe for Artichoke Dip to fit our needs.

We just received this from Jennifer from 9/23/16

"Dear Cindy,

Congratulations, you have won the recipe contest for vegetables. Your  Vegan Artichoke Dip* will be featured in the calendar."

Serves 8-16 as a dip
cheese sauce
1 cup cashew, soaked
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup macadama nuts
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh parsely
1 tsp fresh oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast, optional
Blend in a high speed blender

Pulse in the food processor
1 14.5 oz can or jar of artichokes in water
2 cups spinach
1 diced shallot

Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. For raw dehydrate for a couple of hours instead of baking

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Portobella Stuffed with Egg and Veggies

I had a dream about this for breakfast, so here it is:

Ingredients (serves 2)
2 large Portobella caps
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes

1 cup spinach
2 TBS onions, diced
2 TBS red pepper, diced
Water saute veggies. When cooked, 2-3 minutes divide and place on top of the cooked mushrooms

2 eggs (we used one Susie egg, 3x size)
2 TBS water
Scramble and cook. When cooked, divide and place on top of the cooked mushrooms

Bake assembled mushrooms another 3-5 minutes

top with sliced chives

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sweet Potato and Black Beans with Salad Greens

The idea for this recipe for Breakfast Potatoes came from the Chopra Center. We are serving this for dinner and have substituted to fit our needs.

Sweet Potato and Black Beans with Salad Greens
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • 2-3 sweet potato, scrubbed and diced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 TBS fresh
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 TBS fresh
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained (choose cans that aren’t lined with BPA)
  • 2 cups kale, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups baby salad greens
Heat the coconut oil in a heavy skillet over low heat.  Add the cumin seeds and stir constantly, about 1 to 2 minutes, until browned.
Add the water and increase heat to boiling. When water is boiling, add potatoes, sea salt, pepper, turmeric, oregano, and basil.
Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the black beans, kale, and diced garlic. Cook until the potatoes are soft, continuing to stir often. Add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to prevent potatoes from sticking to pan.
Divide the salad greens among plates and top with the cooked potato mixture.
Makes 6 servings

Sassool Sweet Potato Salad knock-off

We used Sassool's ingredient list to make this Roast Sweet Potato Salad. To me it is WAAAAAAAAAAAY too salty, if it isn't to you add more salt to the recipe. We added lemon juice and garlic because they are so good for us.

3 Sweet Potato (~2 lbs), peeled, diced
1-2 clove of garlic

Roasted sweet potatoes and garlic with 1 tsp of coconut oil or water for 40 minutes at 400.

1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup raisins
2 green onions, sliced
3-4 stalks of celery, diced

add to cooled sweet potatoes

1 TBS lemon juice
1 TBS red wine vinegar
2 TBS Olive oil
2 TBS water
1/2 tsp cumin
salt to taste, we used 1/4 tsp

stir in dressing

Saturday, May 7, 2016

May Potluck 2016

This month's theme was "zoodle" salads.
Several different "zoodle", sweet potato, beet, broccoli and zucchini. We also had Hibiscus Tea and Cherry Lemonade.
Next month's theme is a recipe that has fruits and vegetables.

Sweet Potato with a Raw Caesar Dressing shredded sweet potato

1/2 cup ground pumpkin seeds
4 TBS olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
4 TBS raw apple cider vinegar
juice of a lemon

Beet and Apple Salad

Broccoli Salad
followed the recipe on the Trade Joe Broccoli salad bag

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Asian Zoodle Bowl

Pesto on zoodles

We will see everyone June 4th

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Raw Chili Sweet Potato Salad

This month's theme for our raw potluck is "salads". We created a raw chili sweet potato salad.

Chili Sweet Potato salad
2 sweet potatoes spiralized or grated
1/2 cup crispie pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced

Lime garlic chili dressing
2 TBS raw apple cider vinegar
2 TBS lime juice
3 TBS olive oil
1 TBS honey
1 TBS cilantro
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
 Place everything in a high speed blender. Pour dressing over Sweet Potato salad

Asian Zoodle Bowl

Here is the link for the Asian Bowl recipe

Zoodle Bowl
2 zucchini, spiralized into zoodles
1 avocado, diced (omitted but added 1/4 cup diced walnuts)
2 green onions, diced
½ cup grated carrots
1 bell pepper, diced
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
handful of sprouts (radish, spicy, broccoli)
2 T hemp seeds 
Miso Tahini Dressing
2 ½ T tahini
1 T white miso
1 T tamari or soy sauce (we used coconut aminos)
1 tsp honey
2 T grated ginger root
2-3 T filtered water
Freshly ground pepper
Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, spiralize your zucchini into long noodles. Allow the noodles to sit on a paper towel for 10 or so minutes, to get some moisture out. Set aside.
In a small jar or bowl combine tahini, miso paste, tamari, honey, and ginger. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Slowly add water to dressing until it’s reached your desired consistency. More water = thinner dressing, less water = thicker dressing. Finish off with freshly ground pepper to taste.
Divide zoodles between two bowls and top with avocado, carrots, bell pepper, cilantro, sprouts, and hemp seeds. Drizzle with miso tahini dressing and devour! Enjoy!