About the recipes...

All recipes and ideas contain ingredients from the new IC diet "safe" list. Also, all ingredients are either low-oxalate content, or in small enough amounts where they can be considered low-oxalate. If there are any ingredients that don't fit these criteria, I have labled them, and you have the option to omit them from the dish. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?!

It's football season again, and that means entertaining friends and family for the big game.  When hosting a super bowl party a few years ago, I was challenged with creating an IC friendly menu along with keeping non-IC's happy with your typical football foods.  How do you make IC friendly nachos, wings, or salsa?

First I concentrated on the nachos, and thought about the ingredients that were IC safe, beef, cheese, lettuce, tortilla chips, etc...  Most restaurants add jalapenos peppers, black beans, and salsa to their nacho creations, but are those ingredients really necessary?  I quickly found the answer to be NO!  My nacho recipe has become a favorite at family gatherings, and I've even had non-IC'ers ask for this recipe to make at their own parties!

IC-Safe Nachos
1lb. ground beef
1 red bell pepper
small yellow onion (can use green onions if you can tolerate or omit onion all-together)
1 pkg. Velveeta Cheese, cut into small cubes
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese (I use Sargento)
1/2 head iceburg lettuce, chopped
1 bag tortilla chips
oil, salt, and pepper
sliced black olives, chopped fresh or dried chives (both optional) 

1) preheat oven to 375.
2) add 1Tbsp. oil to skillet and brown ground meat.  season with salt and pepper as desired.  remove to separate bowl when browned, and tent with foil.
3) dice red pepper and onion.  Add 1Tbsp. oil to empty saute pan, saute pepper and onions until onions are translucent.  Add meat back to pan, and mix well.
4) In 9x13 glass baking dish layer tortilla chips, then meat mixture, then two-thirds of the cheese, lettuce, then top with remaining cheese.  You can add sliced black olives to the top if you can tolerate. (black olives are high in oxalate but are IC safe)  You can also add fresh chopped or dried chives to the top as well for extra flavor. 
5) Back at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and browned slightly.

What are nachos without sour cream?  For IC'ers sour cream is a big no-no.  I know I really miss it and found that the cottage cheese substitutions just didn't fill the void.  I tried using cream cheese, and found it had more of a bite like real sour cream does, and had a creamier, thicker texture. 

Sour Cream Substitute
4oz. cream or neufachel cheese (1/2 package) chopped into cubes
3-6 Tbsp. skim milk

In a food processor, add cream cheese cubes and 2 Tbsp milk.  Blend until smooth (about 1 minute).  If mixture is too thick, add 1 Tbsp. of milk at a time until it becomes your desired consistency.  Add dollops on top of the nachos after baking, or serve as a side dish.  The recipe can be easily doubled

My next goal was to make an IC-friendly wing.  In college, after a big game we would go to a local wing place called Sharky's.  They had over 100 varieties of wings, varying from ultra spicy to sweet wings.  I decided to concentrate on the sweet wings, and try to re-create them at home.  I had come across a recipe for maple-ginger glazed chicken, and decided to try to sauce on wings.  The sauce is so yummy, you don't even miss the blue cheese dip!

Maple-Ginger Glazed Wings:
1 1/2-2 lbs chicken wing pieces
3/4 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbls. low-sodium soy sauce (make sure it is MSG-free)
1 tsp. dried ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1) preheat oven to 374 degrees
2) place chicken on lined 9x13 baking dish, add salt and pepper to taste, bake for 20 minutes.
3) mix maple syrup, soy sauce, and ginger in small bowel and set aside.
4) with pastry brush, brush glaze on chicken and bake 10 minutes.
5) flip chicken and brush with glaze from baking dish.  Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes until done.
**You can also serve with the sour cream substitute to dip the wings in**

My last goal was to tackle (get-it!!) salsa and chips.  While most salsa recipes are not IC-friendly, avocado is.  So why not have some jarred salsa for the guests and some IC-safe guacamole for your and any other IC'ers at the party?!

IC-Safe Guacamole
1 ripe avocado (you might want to buy a few days early so it's soft enough on the day you want to make it)
2 Tbsp. Pear Juice (I use Knudsen's Organic Pear Juice)
onion salt to taste
lemon zest (these are high in oxalate, and you can omit from dip)

1) peel and core avocado
2) in a food processor, blend avocado, 2 Tbsp pear juice, and onion salt until creamy.  You can add more pear juice if desired.
3) Place in serving bowl and add lemon zest on top if desired. 
**serve immediately, the dip will turn brown in a few hours.  Keep the pit in the guacamole to help prevent browning**

Adding these dishes to your Sunday football line-up is a great way to please your guests, and please your bladder as well!! ;)

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