Friday, October 15, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

This is one of my favorite soups.  It's adapted from Delia Smith with a little Jamie Oliver twist (see references,

4 large leeks, diced
2 shallots, diced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (bite size)
2 carrots, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 T butter
4 c chicken stock (or water)
10 oz milk
salt and fresh ground pepper
For serving: fresh chives or parsley and cream

To prepare leeks:  Chop off roots and dark green tops, just after the spot where the leaves start splitting apart, and discard the outer hard leaves (or keep for stock). Chop in half lengthwise and rinse with water to clean. Then finish chopping.

1. In a large, thick-bottomed pot, melt butter. Add all the veg: leeks, shallots, potatoes, carrots, and garlic. Mix, cook at low sizzle for about 15 min.

2. Add chicken stock and milk. Simmer with lid on for about 20 min or until vegetables are fork tender. Be careful not to turn up heat too high or milk will boil over.

3.  Add salt and pepper to taste (taste test by pouring from a clean spoon onto a tasting spoon).

4. I eat it like this, with a T of cream, and if available, a sprinkling of fresh chives or parsley. If you like, the soup can be pureed before serving. Wait for soup to cool enough that it doesn’t steam when stirred. Then puree in a blender. Return to pot to reheat before serving with cream and herbs.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vegetarian Recipes

There's a book called "Feast without Yeast" by Bruce Semon, MD and Lori Kornblum, PhD, that is mostly vegetarian recipes that overlap quite well with the Heal Your Headache (HYH) diet. It has information that links some of the foods together from Dr Buchholz's migraine trigger list (such as nuts and fermented foods).  Whether it's the same reason for triggering migraines or not, it's interesting.  I bought the book because it uses honey as a sweetener, as one Amazon reviewer complained, well, because this is in contrast to other yeast-free diets.  Incidentally, migraines also run in Dr Semon's family, and they have long been making the food-migraine connection and avoiding select foods.   

Semon calls for no vinegar in the diet, and recipes use fresh lemon juice instead.   That's the only modification I've made to the Heal Your Headache diet to use these recipes.  I still eat the other allowed foods for HYH (except white vinegar and yeast), and still avoid the other non-allowed foods in HYH (other than fresh squeezed lemon juice).  If you find you don't tolerate some of the vegetables allowed in the HYH diet, you could try only using them cooked.  I find i'm fine with cooked tomatoes, shallots, and green onions, but probably not raw ones.  Semon uses lots of tomatoes in his recipes.

The book is well organized and has over 200 recipes.   They were developed for kids with other medical problems, but I'm finding I get lots of recipes and fresh ideas from it.  Thankfully, he includes useful tips for gradually changing the diet.  With his book, I am looking forward to adding beans and more soups to my diet. I already subscribe to the frequent use of brown rice and potatoes that he suggests, but now have more recipes for these as well.

Buchholz's "Heal your Headache" drastically changed my health, and thus every day life for me and my family.  Semon's book is another great tool (in addition to Heidi Gunderson's cookbook) for applying the diet in HYH and learning more about what's in food and about food intolerances/sensitivities.  Semon is an MD that has helped many patients and one of his own children by using the diet, a very touching story he includes for the readers' benefit.  He seems to have begun with observations and theories and then learned from his experience with many patients, through trial and error and much listening and observation.  Sound like anyone else?  "Thanks!" to both Buchholz and Semon!