Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Broccoli Cheese Strata

I keep trying to grow beautiful broccoli.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I like using the ugly heads for casseroles. The broccoli is still delicious, and nobody can tell it used to be weird-looking.

Broccoli Cheese Strata

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups chopped broccoli
1 carrot, grated or julienned
1 garlic, minced
1.5 tsp fresh oregano, or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp fresh thyme, or .5 tsp dried
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 slices stale bread, cut into large cubes
1 cup grated mixed Italian cheese
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion, broccoli, carrots, and garlic, and stir until the onion is soft and the broccoli is fork-tender. Add the oregano and thyme.  Stir until fragrant, then take off the heat and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs.  Add the milk, salt, and pepper and stir until combined.

Spray an 8" square casserole dish with olive oil cooking spray. Arrange half the bread cubes into the casserole, followed by half the vegetables then half the Italian cheeses. Then add another layer of the rest of the bread cubes, followed by the rest of the vegetables, then the rest of the Italian cheeses. Pour the egg mixture over the top.  Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.  Cover, and let sit for 4 hours or over night.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, until a knife stuck into the center comes out clean.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Migraine Smoothie

Yeah, this is only a farm recipe by chance.

This is how my morning went:
11:00 drop off the taxes at the post office
11:13 aura starts
11:14 aura has doubled in size, stomach starts getting queasy. Start making smoothie
11:18 finish making smoothie. aura has doubled in size again. start chugging smoothie.
11:19 finish drinking smoothie
11:22 drink earl grey caffeinated tea
11:36 aura gone! no headache.

Another headache averted.

Here's how the Migraine Smoothie started. We met a man with  When I said I was getting a migraine, a man I knew told me that the research he had seen showed a correlation between low potassium and migraines. He had a PhD in Human Nutrition, so it seemed credible. He offered to make me some potassium pills with some pharmaceutical  potassium that he had. I took the pills and took a nap, and when I woke up the migraine was gone, but my mouth tasted metallic.

When I told our nurse practitioner about this she was very concerned.  Apparently, too much potassium can stop your heart. I'm pretty committed to keeping my heart beating at a steady rate for many years to come, so I decided to NEVER DO THAT AGAIN.The nurse practitioner told me that magnesium is also implicated in migraines, so she recommended that I take magnesium. There's a powdered form you can put in a drink that is useful both for fighting migraines, and relaxing at bedtime.

You can't actually eat enough bananas to cause heart issues. Here's a BBC article on Bananas and Potassium.  The thing about migraines is that you are racing the clock. My goal was to use food as medicine to alleviate the headache as quickly as possible. I wanted potassium, magnesium, and calcium (which I had read was good for headaches, if not specifically for migraines).

A banana has 422 mg of potassium or 12% daily value and 27 mg of magnesium or 7% daily value.
1 Cup of orange juice (with calcium) has 420 mg of potassium, 27 mg of magnesium and 30% DV of calcium. 
1/2 Cup Traditional plain Greek yogurt has 230 mg of potassium, 23 mg of  magnesium (6% DV)  and 35% of the daily value for calcium.
These are the core items that make up the migraine smoothie. Everything else is optional. You don't want to rummage through the pantry looking for flax seeds or run out to the garden to gather strawberries. Fast is good.

Migraine Smoothie

1 C orange juice
1 banana
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/2 C fresh or frozen (the cold may be helpful for the headache, too) berries (optional)
1/2 C leafy greens,  such as spinach, kale, collards, chard, lettuce, sorrel (optional)
1 tsp seeds (sesame or flax, optional)

Put everything in the blender. Do not stop to measure. Just dump it in.  The exact ratio doesn't matter. This is more a nutrient delivery system than a culinary masterpiece (although it is quite tasty). Turn the blender on as high as it can go. Blend on high for at least 30 seconds.