Saturday, November 26, 2011

If You Give a Lab Mouse a Cookie

Here's my grown up geeky version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff. I have bookmarked a few pieces of interesting research that involve mice. Some of these articles involve inducing a condition to test new drugs. For example, say you need to test a drug for epilepsy or colitis, instead of trying to locate thirty mice with the condition, you induce it. As someone who never paid attention in biology class, this was news to me...and what was used to induce was sometimes more interesting than what they induced for. Please note I'm not trying to make fun of the poor plight of lab mice, who give their lives for our benefit.

If You Give a Lab Mouse a Cookie

If you give a lab mouse a cookie and them give him a glass of water with chlorinated by-products to wash it down with, he develops autistic symptoms: Chlorination byproducts induce gender specific autistic-like behaviors in CD-1 mice, post on Questioning Answers,
And cancer: Assessment of the carcinogenic potential of chlorinated water: experimental studies of chlorine, chloramine, and trihalomethanes

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with MSG and partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening he develops fatty liver disease: Effect of dietary monosodium glutamate on trans fat-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and becomes forgetful: Dietary trans-fat combined with monosodium glutamate induces dyslipidemia and impairs spatial memory

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with MSG he develops a smorgasbord of creepy health issues: Atorvastatin improves insulin sensitivity in mice with obesity induced by monosodium glutamate,
Long term effect of monosodium glutamate in liver of albino mice after neo-natal exposure,
Effects of bezafibrate in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis model mice with monosodium glutamate-induced metabolic syndrome, Chronic Administration of Monosodium Glutamate under Chronic Variable Stress Impaired Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Rats,

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with MSG or Aspartame he becomes forgetful again: Glutamate and aspartate impair memory retention and damage hypothalamic neurons in adult mice

If you give a lab mouse a low-protein cookie and candida yeast, he develops colon permeability and evasive candida: Preventive strategy for Candida gut translocation during ischemia-reperfusion injury supervening on protein-calorie malnutrition.

If you give a Syrian hamster (not a mouse, but everyone is welcome here) a cookie with antibiotics and candida yeast, his protective gut flora is wiped out and candida is found in his organs: Ecology of Candida albicans gut colonization: inhibition of Candida adhesion, colonization, and dissemination from the gastrointestinal tract by bacterial antagonism.

If you give a pregnant lab mouse a cookie with antibiotics her offspring have affected immune systems: See post at Gutness Gracious Me

If you give a lab rabbit a cookie with LPS he develops colitis. (actually he's injected with it, not eating it)  Lipopolysaccharide-induced colitis in rabbits. What is LPS? It is short for lipopolysaccharide, which is a toxin put off by gram-negative bacteria in your gut. Too much is a bad thing, which can also give the rabbit, an yourself, a host of bad issues: depression, anti-social behavior, liver problems, kidney problems, gi problems, etc. There is a wonderful website covering this called Microbial Influence.

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with high fructose corn syrup and trans-fat, the same amount to correlate with an American fast food diet, he develops metabolic syndrome: Severe NAFLD with hepatic necroinflammatory changes in mice fed trans fats and a high-fructose corn syrup equivalent

If you give a lab mouse a cookie with azo dyes (such as red 40), he develops DNA damage in his colon: DNA Damage Induced by Red Food Dyes Orally Administered to Pregnant and Male Mice

What's in your cookie?

This post is linked to Sunday School, Monday Mania, Fightback Friday, and Real Food 101.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Green Bean Casserole (SCD)

The infamous Green Bean Casserole, SCD style. For my topping I use Herbes De Provence (Morten and Bassett brand). It is a  mix of marjoram, rosemary, sage, savory, thyme, lavender, basil, parsley and sometimes fennel, chervil and garlic. If you can't find Herbes de Provence, than a combination of three or more of those herbs would work nicely. This recipe is for 4 to 5 people, you may need to double it.

Green Bean Casserole

2 cups Finely Diced Onions to make Crispy Onions
8 oz package Button Style Mushrooms, sliced
2 TBSP Oil or Butter
1 cup Yogurt or Yogurt Cream (SCD yogurt made from half and half)
Salt and Pepper to taste
10 oz package frozen cut Green Beans

1/2 cup Almond Flour
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
Salt to taste

Make a batch of Crispy Onions. You can do this a few days before and refrigerate until use.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice Mushrooms. Heat oil or butter in a frying pan and saute mushrooms to desired doneness. In a medium mixing bowl combine yogurt, onions, and mushrooms. Season to taste. Add green beans and mix. Pour into a small casserole dish. Combine topping ingredients in a small mixing bowl, sprinkle on casserole. Bake 30 to 40 minutes.

Crispy Onions (SCD, GFCF)

I had seen recipes for these in Indian cookbooks and meant to try them. Then, I ate some served on sliced flank steak at a Japanese restaurant in Las Vegas. They were diced so fine they looked like toasted coconut and tasted amazing. I could not wait to start using them at home. They are not just good on steak, they are also great with casseroles and vegetables. They will shrink up while cooking. Two cups of fresh diced onion will yield about 3/4 cup cooked. You can make these a few days ahead and refrigerate until use.

Crispy Onions

Small amount of Oil or Butter
Onions, diced fine

Here, I diced three small onions to get two cups worth. Oil a frying pan with just enough oil to coat the pan. Heat pan on medium high heat. Add onions in a semi single layer:

Adding more will cause some of them to cook before the others. Saute, stirring frequently until golden browned and done. If they need more oil while cooking, add a few drops at a time. If they seem to cook too fast, adjust the heat.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hot Mulled Apple Cider (SCD, GFCF)

Need to warm your cockles and spice them up a bit? Hot mulled apple cider is just the thing. Heat a pot of this before your friends come over and your house will smell heavenly, with an aroma that says it's the holiday season. My ingredients are approximate, you may want to experiment by adding ginger, nutmeg, honey, orange juice, etc.

Hot Mulled Apple Cider

1 quart Apple Cider (SCD legal if your and SCD'er)
1 Cinnamon Stick, plus more for garnish
3 to 5 Whole Cloves
6 to 8 Whole Allspice
1 piece of Orange Rind, about 1" x 2"

Put all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil and them simmer low for 15 minutes. Pour into mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serves 4.

This post is linked to Fightback Fridays and Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten-Free.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Easy SCD Chili (SCD, GFCF)

My dad has a saying, "Chili today, hot tamale". This is so true of Texas weather. One day it can be thirty degrees and the next day it can be eighty. This year we went from five months of August right into chili season. We have a hard time keeping the saltine crackers and cheddar cheese in stock at our little rural store. Everyone has a nice warm bowl of chili on their minds.

This recipe is from my son's grandmother. I have only adapted the seasoning to make it SCD legal, you can use my spice blend or a SCD legal chili powder. It's very easy. Cook's Illustrated suggests adding the spices to the hot oil before browning the meat for more depth.

Easy SCD Chili
2 TBSP. Cooking Oil
1 Onion, diced fine
1/4 to 1/3 cup SCD Legal Chili Powder
Cloves of Garlic, to taste
2 lbs. Lean Ground Meat
4 cups Tomato Juice
1 Whole Fresh Chili Pepper (optional)

Heat oil over medium heat in a dutch oven type pot. Add onions, chili powder, and minced garlic, cook until onions are tender. Add ground meat and brown. Add tomato juice and simmer for 20 minutes or more. (it will thicken the longer you simmer it, two hours makes a nice thick chili) If you are adding a chili pepper add it with the tomato juice and leave it whole (like you would a bay leaf). You can serve it with shredded cheddar cheese. I have a friend who serves her chili over steamed cauliflower and says it's delicious.

This post is linked to Fightback Fridays.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is This My Child?

Doris Rapp has a book titled "Is This Your Child?". I had to ask myself that same question today. I was in the back of the house when my six year old came up and told me he was going to dust his bookcase. I thought "whatever" and handed him a damp rag. I came into the livingroom to find this:

It had not dawned on me in the last several years to dust the bookcase and it certainly would not have dawned on me when I was six. Who is channeling my child? Or was it just a good excuse to pull out all of the books and pile them on the floor (that would be the apple from the tree).