Stuffed Zucchini with Ricotta Recipe

This is an exquisite, low-histamine, late-summer dish.  Traditionally, this dish is made using parmesan cheese and tomatoes.  For our purposes here we will leave those out, although if you get migraines only once in awhile or your histamine is not too high, a little fresh tomato thrown in will not hurt (it’s the tomato concentrate we have to be especially careful of).

You’ll notice this recipe uses ricotta. I’ve recently been making my own butter and ricotta. Ricotta is one of the safest cheeses for those with migraine because it is not actually cultured – ricotta curds are made simply by curdling the whey with an acid like lemon juice or citric acid and then straining. So, if you’ve been craving cheese or dairy and have high histamine, this may be one of the safest cheese options available to you.

Enjoy this healthy, delicious dish!

serves 6

Ingredients

6 medium zucchini (about 2 lbs.), halved lengthwise
7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 yellow chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes chopped (optional)
1/2 cup shiitake or crimini mushrooms (optional)
2 cups ricotta
34 cup fresh bread crumbs (optional)
3 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tsp. dried mint, crumbled
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 egg yolks, beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Scoop out the zucchini pulp with a spoon, leaving a 1/4″ rim around the edges.  Save the rest of the pulp for the stuffing. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat, adding the garlic and onions.  Cook until translucent – about 6 minutes. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes and sautee.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, bread crumbs, herbs, and egg yolks. Fold in the onion mixture and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Arrange an oven rack about 7″ from the broiler element and heat . Rub down the insides of the zucchini with the olive oil and season with salt. Put the zucchini facing up on an oiled baking sheet and broil for 5 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven and fill each zucchini half with the filling making sure it doesn’t spill over the edges of the zucchini. Sprinkle each stuffed zucchini with bread crumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Broil again until the zucchini are soft and the tops are lightly browned – ie, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Comforting Low-histamine Corn Chowder Recipe

If there’s one great way to get potatoes into your diet (with all their minerals and insoluble fiber), chowder is certainly an excellent one.  Chowder is the ultimate comfort food, but many chowders contain seafood or stock that can be a trigger for migraine.  This recipe is a rich and vegetal version of traditional cream chowders, full of celery and leeks and herbs.  It’s great on cold or rainy days!

In a saucepan, saute:

3 T high heat cooking fat (such as this one)
1 chopped onion
1 chopped leek
3 sticks chopped celery
1 teaspoon thyme or rosemary or both
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

When onions are translucent, add:

2 large organic potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups of water

Simmer until potatoes are soft. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend on medium speed until pureed, adding water if needed, then transfer blended soup back into the pan.

Finally, add:

1 cup of fresh (or 1 bag or 1 can of organic) corn kernels
1 Tablespoon of fresh cheese-free pesto (optional) – recipe here
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream or coconut milk if you’re vegan

Add more water if needed to get to desired consistency, depending on how thick you like it
Add more salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with rosemary, cilantro, basil, parsley or fresh thyme

Enjoy!

Pan-roasted Brussel Sprouts

In my family’s constant experimentation with diet and nutrition, my husband recently went ketogenic on me. He basically lived off of grilled brussel sprouts, chocolate sweetened with xylitol, and huge tubs of almond butter.  He’s 6’5″ and it was a sight to behold him fuelling his lanky frame without carbs.  I wasn’t convinced of the healthfulness of the keto diet (except the part about him growing new mitochondria – very cool), but I really did enjoy those grilled brussel sprouts.  Of course, his brussel sprouts were roasted in bacon fat, which I can now happily enjoy (thanks to the SimplyWell Protocol).  But what I enjoyed even more was drizzling balsamic vinegar on top of these brussel sprouts, because he couldn’t eat the balsamic vinegar while going keto, and it made the dish that much tastier.

Bacon is full of nitrates, even the kind without nitrates added.  So, I can’t offer you a brussel sprout and bacon recipe, or a brussel sprout and balsamic recipe.  But what I can offer you is my attempt to recreate the tangy sweet goodness of the balsamic vinegar on a bed of grilled brussel sprouts.  I am very pleased with these.  This recipe serves 2.

In a cast-iron pan, sautee the following ingredients together under medium-high heat until the garlic and onions are slightly caramelized:
1 T butter or ghee
1 T Red Palm Oil (for the vitamin E, CoQ10, and beta carotene)
1/2 Onion
3 Cloves Garlic

Next, add the following two ingredients and cook for a few minutes so the flavors are evenly distributed:
1 T maple syrup
Squeeze of 1/2 lemon

Finally, turn up the heat and throw in
10 brussel sprouts, halved
salt and pepper to taste

Grill these on the pan for a few minutes until the brussel sprouts are browned on the edges.
Enjoy!

Almond Pecan Cookies (Gluten Free)

These delicious pecan cookies were suggested to me by a participant in our Facebook community.  They’re absolutely delicious!  The coconut oil is good for gut health (if you don’t have salycilate sensitivity), the sugar level is low, and the almond meal and pecans lend magnesium and methionine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons solid coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour or almond meal (I have used both with success)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Set aside.
  2. Add the coconut oil and the pure maple syrup to a large bowl. If the oil is very hard, microwave for a few seconds until soft but not melted. Stir briskly with a whisk until the syrup and oil are mixed together – this may take a minute or two. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk together until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon until combined. Stir in chopped pecans.
  4. Scoop mounded tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet, spacing about two inches apart. Press down gently with your fingers to flatten slightly.
  5. Bake until set and the edges are golden brown, 8-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cookies keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days.

    Adapted from this recipe.