Fall has arrived and lately I’ve been craving butternut squash. To satisfy that craving, I tried my hand at a new soup this past weekend that incorporated both a hearty butternut squash and a couple sweet potatoes. Combined, the two vegetables make a high-vitamin, fiber-dense dish that’s also very tasty!
- 1 large butternut squash (1,050 gm. cooked weight*)
- 146 gm. yellow onion, chopped
- 9 gm. (1 ½ tsp.) of minced garlic
- 2 tbs. of butter
- 709 gm. sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and cut into chunks
- 907 gm. (32 oz.) Swanson’s Certified Organic Chicken Broth
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven at 375°
- Cut the butternut squash in half; seed it and place skin-side down on a cookie sheet
- Bake squash for 60 minutes
- When squash has approximately 15-20 minutes left to bake, melt butter in large stockpot
- Add onion, garlic and sweet potatoes; cook on medium-high stirring frequently
- Remove squash, allow to cool before removing skin and hard stems
*This is when I measured the butternut squash, which explains the “cooked” weight listed above.
- Add squash and broth to stockpot, bring to a boil
- Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes
- Using a ladle or slotted spoon, transfer portions of soup to a food processor and blend until smooth before adding back to the pot; repeat 2-3 times depending on your preference for chunkiness
Yield: Approximately six 1 ½ cup servings (365 gm. each)
Phe: 196 mg.
Since I’m 34 weeks pregnant and already incorporating greater amounts of phe into my diet, this recipe was purposely made with the intention of being slightly higher in phe. However, you can easily adapt this recipe for a version that is lower in phe by using a 32 oz. package of Swanson’s Certified Organic Vegetable Broth instead of the chicken broth. The adjusted nutritional values would be 170 mg. and 210 calories per 1 ½ cup serving.
Happy fall, y’all!
Here’s a super easy, one-pot dish that’s become a favorite of mine for making in bulk and taking it for lunch during the work week.
- 28 oz. can tomato sauce
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 275 gm. chopped green pepper
- 170 gm. chopped onion
- 2 pks. G. Washington brown seasoning
- Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot
- Bring to a boil
- Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender (approximately 1 hour)
Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings
Phe: 114 mg
Add low-protein pasta or low-protein rice for more volume. Just adjust phe accordingly.
This is an adaptation of a recipe that was recently served to my entire family over the Memorial Day weekend. It originally included smoked sausage, but that was obviously omitted for my portion. I liked its flavor so much I made it again last night (and probably will again this evening).
- 116 gm zucchini, cubed
- 74 gm bell pepper, cubed (used approximately ½ red pepper and ½ yellow pepper for color)
- 28 gm red onion, coarsely chopped
- 58 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
- 23 gm garlic cloves (approximately 2 cloves)
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 93 gm Aproten Penne
- 2 tbs. butter
- 2 tbs. white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Mix all of the vegetables, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper well in a large mixing bowl. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly on a large sheet pan.
Roast the vegetables on the middle oven rack for 10 minutes. Stir vegetables and place back on the middle oven rack for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions, reserving ½ cup of the cooking liquid.
* Since the pasta will be cooked again briefly with the roasted vegetables and other ingredients added, you may want to cut off a few minutes of the recommended cooking time in order to avoid mushy noodles.
Remove the vegetables and set the pan aside. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from the roasting pan, smash to a paste with a fork and add to the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot it was cooked in over medium-high heat. Add the butter, wine, reserved cooking water and vegetables to the pasta. Stir the pasta gently and cook until the liquid is about ¾ absorbed. Serve immediately, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
I’m listing this as one serving; however, if you’re making this for kids with limited appetites, you could probably stretch this a bit further. I’ve also listed separate phe and calorie counts in case you’d like to use a different kind of low-protein pasta or even experiment with imitation rice.
Yield: 1 serving (adult size)
Phe: 181 mg (155.5 mg without Penne)
Calories: 884 (or 554 without Penne)
One of my recent Pinterest-inspired projects was creating burlap labels for my pantry. It’s a fun DIY project that spoke to my inner organizing freak.
Grouping similar products in baskets or other containers make it easier to find products quickly and placing ingredients in clear jars let you know when you’re getting low. Among other labels, I decided to create hanging canister labels for brown sugar, wheat starch and baking mix—three ingredients I use frequently, especially when making tasty PKU-friendly cakes, cookies and pastries.
I use Cook for Love’s baking mix, which if you’re familiar with it, you know it is comprised of three key ingredients. To make life a little simpler, I decided to make an at-a-glance label on the backside of the baking mix canister that reminds me of the key ingredients without having to look it up online or find the recipe I printed eons ago. Also to save time, I like to make the baking mix in bulk. In fact, I have doubled the baking mix recipe in the canister shown here.
If you aren’t necessarily the crafty type, you can still take a similar approach by a using a large, sealable plastic container to make the baking mix and a permanent marker to jot down the ingredients on the outside of the container. Not as pretty, but definitely just as functional. Just remember to whisk before each use!
Here’s a flavorful and easy side dish I came across on Pinterest. I adapted the recipe slightly by using baby portabella mushrooms and also did the math to figure out phenylalanine and calorie numbers.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started.
- 1 lb. pre-sliced baby portabella mushrooms (approx. 452 gm)
- 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1-2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked pepper, or to taste
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse the mushrooms, if necessary, and set aside. Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme, cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until evenly blended. Toss the mushrooms in this mixture until they are evenly coated. Place them into a 7×11″ baking dish and make sure the mushrooms are spread out in a single layer. Roast the mushrooms for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Yield: 3 servings
Phe: 124 mg per serving; 372 mg entire recipe
Protein: 3.5 gm per serving
Exchanges: 8.3 per serving
Calories: 144 per serving; 432 entire recipe *
Fat: 11.8 gm per serving
* Based on 2.5 tbs. olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic
After making this a couple times, I’ve served it along with Cambrooke Foods Pierogi or if I still have a good amount a phe left in the day, I’ll use it as a side dish to a baked potato.
First stuffing and now casserole? I must be on a comfort-foods kick! At any rate, here is an easy recipe for low-protein broccoli casserole. I estimate only 20 minutes of prep-time followed by 45 minutes of baking.
- 3 tbs. butter, 1 tbs. melted and set aside
- 60 gm. chopped onion
- 10 oz. package chopped frozen broccoli
- 1/2 of 10.75 oz. can (152 gm.) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1/2 c Daiya Cheddar Shreds
- 1/2 c (120 gm.) light mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- black pepper to taste
- ½ c (40 gm.) low-protein garlic bread crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until golden. In a mixing bowl, stir together onion, broccoli (no need to thaw), soup, cheese, mayonnaise, garlic salt, pepper, seasoned salt, and lemon juice. Once thoroughly blended, transfer mixture to 2-quart casserole dish. Evenly spread low-protein garlic crumbs over top and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of melted butter. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until heated through and browned on top.
Yield: 4 servings at 175 gm each
Phe: 185 mg per serving; 739 mg entire recipe
Exchanges: 12.3 per serving
Protein: 6 gm per serving
Calories: 327 per serving; 1,308 entire recipe
Fat: 30 gm per serving
On the surface, the four servings may not look like there is enough to satisfy. If that’s the case, add more volume by mixing one serving with 1/3 cup of Cambrooke Foods’ Short Grain Rice. Cook the imitation rice according to the package instructions before mixing.
Fall is here and in the Merrifield household, that also means football! As a Pittsburgh-native and a University of Tennessee graduate, my college/NFL loyalties are split between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Even though we may not always win, getting everyone together for good food and drink is always a plus. So with this being the first football season during which I am following the low-protein diet, my husband and I have been brainstorming a few PKU-friendly party foods. Here’s a recipe for low-protein nachos recently concocted by my armature chef hubby.
- 2 low-protein tortilla wraps (Cambrooke Foods)
- 115 gm of bell peppers (cooked weight measurement)
- 1 tbs canola oil
- 85 gm of salsa style canned tomatoes
- ¼ c Daiya cheddar shreds
To make tortilla chips from the wraps, follow the directions on Cambrooke Foods’ website. Their recipe calls for six wraps, but for the purpose of this dish, I used two. If you wanted to make a larger serving, you could easily increase the number of wraps.
While the tortilla chips are cooking, sauté the peppers in the canola oil until slightly browned and tender. Since my husband was making his own high-protein version of nachos, he browned his ground beef in a separate dish and planned to split the peppers between the two of us.
Once the chips have been pan-fried and cooled on a paper towel, place them in an oven-safe dish, zero-out their weight on gram scale, and top with 115 grams of peppers. Zero-out the scale again and add 85 grams of the salsa style canned tomatoes. Top the nachos with a ¼ cup of the dairy-free cheddar shreds from Daiya Foods and place in the oven. Broil until the cheese has melted, remove and serve. Careful because the dish will be very hot!
Yield: 1 [adult] serving
Phe: 159 mg
Feel free to experiment too! Add onions or olives if you like. You can also top the nachos with shredded lettuce, or if you have a bit more tolerance in phe, add a serving of guacamole. The 100-calorie snack-packs from Wholly Guacamole are perfect for one-time servings. Enjoy!