Saturday, October 31, 2009

Posole and Gluten Free Cheater Enchiladas

My grandmother and great grandmother in New Mexico served something like this to their ranch hands. I have adapted this to be easier, more flavorful and more economical with less meat.

The morning before, soak in water: 1 c. dry red beans and 1 c. posole or hominy corn (dry peeled/hulled corn sold in the ethnic section of grocery stores). In the evening, drain and rinse the beans and corn, leave in the colander and cover with a cloth. The next morning, rinse, drain and cover again. (Nearly sprouted beans and corn are far more digestible and also cook faster.) That evening, about 1 ½ hours before you are ready to eat:

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add 1 lb. beef or goat cubes. Sear on both sides. Turn heat to medium low. Add 2 chopped medium onions and cook until onions are transparent.

Add 6 c. water, drained beans and posole, and 2 c. chopped paste tomatoes and 2 chopped, seeded jalapenos (or one can chopped tomatoes with chiles). Add 2 tsp. garlic, 2 tbsp. basil, 2 tbsp. paprika and 1 tbsp. cilantro. About half an hour before serving, add salt, cayenne and cumin to taste.

Cook until beans and corn are tender. Serve with corn or rice chips, warmed corn or brown rice tortillas, sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, limes to squeeze over the soup, chopped green onions and/or sour cream.

Leftovers can be strained of excess liquid and used in cheater enchiladas. Pour a little salsa into the bottom of a round baking dish. Layer corn or brown rice tortillas, posole mixture, chopped green chiles and cheese (at least 2 layers of each, ending with cheese). Bake 1/2-1 hr. at 350 degrees, until liquids are absorbed.

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Localvore and my heart

On September 2nd in the middle of the night, I experienced what felt like a heart attack. I was too weak to even get down my own stairs. I suffered through the night, went in to work like a fool and collapsed while taking the fruit out of the refrigerator and putting it on the shelves. Rick deYoung, who works for the Douglas County News and is an all-around great fellow, drove me in to a clinic until Mom could arrive from the coast. The doctor didn't find much beyond an enlarged heart, tachycardia and edema. He didn't do any further testing, thinking I was exhausted and stressed and should have gone to the hospital DURING the crisis if I wanted answers.

The tachycardia I've had since childhood previously only caused scary symptoms when I didn't get enough sleep or used my inhaler too much. Weak heart valves run in the family, and so do heart attacks. Weak valves often cause edema (fluid build up) that creates so much pressure while lying down that very little blood actually gets to the lungs and elsewhere.  I went home, started myself on diuretics and used a wedge to raise my torso while sleeping. I have been a lot better, gradually increasing the distance I can walk and the amount of work I can do.

I am closing the store; I don't see what other option I have.  It's not making money and I DO get paid at my night job.  I don't have a partner, so I can't just negotiate less work hours.  I also need to fix up my house for sale and I really want to go back to school. 

My plans are to devote more time to OCFA, to change the Localvore website to one  celebrating Oregon foods and promoting OCFA, and to HEAL.  I will start attending OSU next fall, majoring in Nutrition Science.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Apple and pumpkin butters and bread and cheesecake made with these butters!

This will be in Douglas Co. News Wednesday.  I made the pumpkin cheesecake with regular pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pear butter and I liked it, but it wasn't sweet enough for anyone else.  With the pumpkin pear butter, others like it, too!



By Larisa Sparrowhawk

INSANELY EASY APPLE OR PUMPKIN/PEAR BUTTER – Chop and core apples or pears. Leave skin on some. Chop, skin and seed pumpkin if using. Cook in a crockpot with a little apple cider vinegar and water, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and ginger if desired, but no sweetener. Check 6-8 hours later. When it’s cooked down to 1/3-1/2 its original volume, let it cool. If making pumpkin/pear butter, you may add a little raw honey to taste after cooking. Blend it silky smooth. Freeze some for pancakes later!

GLUTEN FREE PUMPKIN BREAD – Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix 1 ½ c. brown rice flour, a pinch of salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp each nutmeg and ginger, and 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda; set aside. Mix 1 c. pumpkin butter, 1/3 c. honey, 1/2 stick melted butter, and 3 eggs. Mix wet and dry ingredients. Add chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries if desired. Bake in greased loaf pan for one hour 15 minutes.

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE - Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Soak 1 c. golden raisins in 1 1/2 c. pumpkin butter for half an hour. Cut parchment to fit the inside of a spring-form pan. Chop pecans and spread them on parchment in pan with half a bag of semisweet chocolate chips. Melt remaining chips over very low heat. Blend pumpkin/raisin mix thoroughly with 3 tbsp. honey and put aside. Blend 3 8 oz. packages of room temperature cream cheese, 1/3 c. carob powder, 2 tsp. cinnamon (or 1 tsp. ginger), a pinch of salt and 4 eggs. Mix in pumpkin mixture. Pour carefully onto crust. Drizzle melted chocolate randomly over cake and swirl to marble. To prevent cracking, put a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven and bake the cake in the center rack 1 hour without opening then door. Turn oven off to let cake set slowly for an hour and 15 minutes, still without opening the door! Run knife along edge of pan, then remove sides before allowing to finish cooling on rack. Refrigerate before serving.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gluten free cookies and pancakes

This will also be in Becky Holm's Douglas County News.  After I move, I will continue to write for her, so keep reading Good Food, Cheap!

By Larisa Sparrowhawk
Gluten Free flour blends tend to be expensive and disappointing in many baked goods. Those with tapioca or corn starch produce gummy and flat breads and are better saved for pancakes. In my recipes I use individual flours rather than a prepared mix.
Gluten Free Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies - These have a “pecan sandies” texture from the rice flour but taste marvelous.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix 1 3/4 c brown rice flour, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp. baking soda, ½ tsp. salt and 1 tsp. cinnamon together and set aside.

Cream ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. of softened butter with 1 cup brown sugar. Beat in 2 large eggs and 1 tsp. vanilla flavoring. Mix wet and dry ingredients together, then fold in a bag of chocolate chips. (Check the label on the chips to ensure they do not contain gluten!)

Bake on parchment (best) or non stick cookie sheet 14 minutes or until set but not hard.

Buckwheat Fruit Pancakes – I didn’t realize how much I missed pancakes until I had a few bubbling on the stove. I devoured every one of these within a day all by myself.

Mix 1/2 cup brown rice flour with ½ cup buckwheat flour, ¼ cup tapioca starch, 2 tsp. baking powder and a pinch or two of salt. Add 1 egg, ½ cup of milk or nutmilk and 3 tbsp melted butter. Open a Celestial Seasonings blueberry teabag into the batter and add frozen blueberries or dried cranberries. Or use a cinnamon apple tea bag and raisins. Whisk together thoroughly and pour into a greased skillet to cook.

Coming soon: pumpkin sweet bread and sourdough gluten free bread!

Larisa Sparrowhawk will be available in Localvore, 115 E. Central Ave. in Sutherlin until the end of October and afterwards by email only:

H1N1 Vaccines

This will be published in Becky Holm's Douglas County News, although in a shorter version if I can bear to cut it any more.  I am currently at 1800 words, down from 2500 and there is just SO MUCH VITAL INFORMATION about this subject.  Becky will also publish a pro-vaccine article since I couldn't make myself take that stance!


H1N1 Swine Flu Shots are Coming to Douglas County! Will You Get One?

By Larisa Sparrowhawk

Small shipments of H1N1 vaccine have arrived in Douglas County and are becoming available for healthcare workers, emergency responders, pregnant women and children. It is unknown when sufficient vaccines will arrive for the general population. While you wait, learn more here about the virulence of H1N1 and the safety of the vaccines.

The latest U.S. Census counted over 74 million children from birth through age 18. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported on the 39thth week of the outbreak that 50,768 children were reported with H1N1 or related “Subtype A influenzas” and 76 children died of these viruses. So far this year, H1N1 and other “Subtype A” influenzas greatly outnumber others – 99.7% to .3%. However 147 children died of all influenzas, so just under half of flu related deaths were attributed to H1N1.

No other infectious agents were reported for 44 of the children who died. Of the 32 remaining, 7 also had staph infections and 4 of these resisted treatment with methicillin. Other bacteria identified in the H1N1 infected children include Streptococcus constellatus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus. Two thirds of the 76 children had neurological disorders like cerebral palsy and epilepsy; 32% had asthma. Over half of adults hospitalized for H1N1 also had other serious health concerns like pneumonia, diabetes and asthma. Many were smokers.

By the 39th week, your child’s chance of catching H1N1 was greater than catching the seasonal flu, but your child’s chance of dying from H1N1 was less, just over one in a million. As of the end of the 40th week, 86 children died from H1N1 with or without other complications, so these statistics should be monitored.

A CDC health economics expert, Dr. Martin Meltzer, says “almost nobody dies of the flu and deaths are associated with flu, but not necessarily caused by flu.” The CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) lump influenza and pneumonia data together, which is misleading, because influenza is more often fatal. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that of the 152 deaths reported in Mexico, only 7 were confirmed to be from H1N1!

Although the WHO stopped testing for H1N1 this summer, it continues to call H1N1 a pandemic. Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO stated in September that the H1N1 has not mutated and “we are lucky that the pandemic is moderate in severity, that most people experience a mild illness and recover spontaneously.”

H1N1, like all influenzas, is a self-limiting disease, meaning it runs its course. Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu. The popular CNN Medical Reporter, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, reported that he caught H1N1 while in Afghanistan and had a higher fever than expected with ordinary influenza. However, he recovered within a few days.

There are four different types of H1N1 flu vaccine coming available, with the most controversial being the Live Attenuated Influenza Virus (LAIV) nasal spray targeted at children. The government recommends this as a no-mercury vaccine that parents can feel good about. Concerned parents fear their children will contract H1N1 after a live virus is sprayed up the nose! Dr. Rita Laibow warns that the FluMist contains three live viruses and even if vaccinated people resist all three, they could infect others.

MedImmune, the producer of the FluMist nasal spray vaccine, includes this disclaimer in its product information: "Administration of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Live, Intranasal, a live virus vaccine, to immunocompromised persons should be based on careful consideration of potential benefits and risks. Safety has not been established… children and adolescents regularly taking aspirin or products containing it; or persons with certain: sensitivities, health problems, illnesses, malignancies, immunodeficiencies, nutritional deficiencies, abnormalities, allergies, or infections.” These are very vague contraindications, presumably excluding most children!

Ingredients used in injectable vaccines are also worrisome. Since you are unlikely to read the drug insert - which details legally required (but not all) ingredient information and potential side effects – before you get a shot, read on.

All vaccines are created by growing live viruses in various animal products conducive to quick multiplication of the virus. Chicken eggs are most commonly used. However, mouse brains, caterpillar eggs, and monkey kidneys have been used recently. Other flu vaccines are grown in pig blood or tissue or in human stem cells or cancer cells. The latter are especially shocking, but researchers use them because they multiply so rapidly! DNA fragments remaining in vaccines have been a concern for decades.

Adjuvants, agents used to irritate the immune system to react to even small amounts of the virus, are used in many vaccines. They make it possible for drug companies to produce many vaccines quickly at less expense. The World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC say adjuvants are necessary during health emergencies and also deny that they cause immune system diseases. A growing number of parents and medical personnel disagree. Mercury and aluminum, both known poisons, are still included in flu vaccines even though they have been removed from most other vaccines. Scientists are also beginning to use genetically engineered (recombinant nucleic acid) molecules and nanoparticles. Formaldehyde is sometimes used to inactivate a virus before packaging vaccines for use. Squalene, an oil based substance often manufactured from shark oil, is similar to oils produced by the human body, and is touted as being especially safe. You can eat squalene with no effects. However, some scientists say that “molecular mimicry” makes it dangerous. Injecting squalene with a virus and chemicals makes the body see it as an invader. Then the immune system begins to attack the body’s own squalene-type cells.

Squalene has previously only been used in one human experiment, by the military during the Gulf War. It is strongly implicated in the neurological disturbances (Gulf War Syndrome) and immune system diseases still experienced by 25% of those servicemen injected with the vaccine. In the 2004 lawsuit Doe v. Rumsfeld, the District Court in the District of Columbia ruled that the squalene was not approved for human use in the United States and therefore the military could no longer require mandatory vaccination with squalene containing products. However, The Novartis H1N1 vaccine contains the same MF59 squalene formula used in the military.

Dr. Baylor from the FDA admitted that the Novartis vaccine did include an adjuvant and “for CSL, GSK and Sanofi Pasteur, mixing of the vaccine with an adjuvant at the site of administration will be necessary.” This means the vaccine you receive in your body may not be completed in a sterile laboratory, but by a clinic employee we hope is wearing gloves and a mask.

The FDA and CDC insist testing has been done on these new vaccines; however, tests include only the viral agent without adjuvants. Dr. Tom Jefferson of the Vaccine Field Group “found less than two dozen studies on the current H1N1 flu vaccine and none with a completion date before December, 2010!” The FDA does not require independent laboratory analysis using industry standard double blind studies with placebos. It allows the drug manufacturers to exclude children, pregnant women, the elderly or allergic individuals and also to remove from the study anyone who develops any reaction to the vaccine. Nor does the FDA require drug manufacturers to release any information other than what the drug manufacturer sees fit to publish.

A law passed recently that gives vaccine manufacturers immunity from lawsuits! A person harmed by a vaccine could not even file suit without prooving an act of “willful misconduct,” or intentional harm. Additionally, even if it can be proven that a drug manufacturer knowingly harms people, if the vaccine was used during a health emergency declared by the HHS, only the U.S. Attorney General can initiate enforcement action for the injured party.

Possible negative reactions from an injectible H1N1 vaccine package insert updated in September of 2009: “Local injection site reactions (including pain, pain limiting limb movement, redness, swelling, warmth, ecchymosis, induration); Hot flashes/flushes; Chills; Fever; Malaise; Shivering; Fatigue; Asthenia; Facial edema; Immune system disorders; Hypersensitivity reactions (including throat and/or mouth edema); In rare cases, hypersensitivity reactions leading to anaphylactic shock and death; Cardiovascular disorders; Vasculitis (in rare cases with transient renal involvement); Syncope shortly after vaccination; Digestive disorders; Diarrhea; Nausea; Vomiting; Abdominal pain; Blood and lymphatic disorders; Local lymphadenopathy; Transient thrombocytopenia; Metabolic and nutritional disorders; Loss of appetite; Arthralgia; Myalgia; Myasthenia; Nervous system disorders; Headache; Dizziness;

Neuralgia; Paraesthesia; Febrile convulsions; Guillain-Barré Syndrome; Myelitis (including encephalomyelitis and transverse myelitis); Neuropathy (including neuritis); Paralysis (including Bell’s Palsy); Respiratory disorders; Dyspnea; Chest pain; Cough; Pharyngitis; Rhinitis; Stevens-Johnson syndrome; Pruritus; Urticaria; Rash (including non-specific, maculopapular, and vesiculobulbous).

Another product insert states: “Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with influenza virus vaccine. It is also not known whether influenza virus vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman.” Public officials have stated that vaccines do not cross the placenta, however, since everything else does, this seems unlikely to be true.

No wonder many health care workers around the world are resisting vaccination! 50% of health care workers polled in Hong Kong are refusing the vaccine, 69% of French will refuse it, 29% of Germans say they “will refuse it under any circumstances” and an additional 33% confess to misgivings about the vaccine. Polls in the UK show half of all doctors and a third of all nurses are refusing the vaccine.

New York was the first U.S. state to require all health care workers in contact with patients to get both the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines. Six health care workers filed a suit against the FDA (Null et al. v. FDA et al.) for licensing vaccines without proper safety testing. The plaintiffs include Dr. Gary Null, PhD, a nutritionist who is well known for his writings on natural healthcare, Rima E. Laibow, MD, a licensed physician and Dr. Ted Koren, DC, who heads the Foundation for Health Choice. Another plaintiff is a billing clerk who was told she could be fired for refusing the vaccine, even though she has no direct contact with the public. The plaintiffs’ immunological expert, Sara Schon, MD and pharmaceutical chemist, Paul King, PhD will testify that the vaccines are not “prepared in the same manner as previous flu vaccines” like the government claims. The suit also references the testimony of HHS Secretary Sebelius to Congress on September 15th that the FDA’s own scientists would not “sign off” on the use of adjuvants in the vaccines. The plaintiffs further allege that the LAIV nasal vaccine could cause rather than prevent a pandemic. CNN reported Saturday October 17th that the Judge has issued a stay against mandatory vaccinations. The New York Health Department vows to fight this ruling.
Jim Clymer, the Constitution Party National Committee Chairman, said, “If the government can force potentially dangerous substances into our bodies, what, then, can’t the government do to us?”

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gluten Free Cornbread

This will be in Becky Holm's Douglas County News.  Cornbread is an easy gluten free bread because it is generally somewhat coarse anyway, and so there is no reason to add tapioca, which makes a smoother texture but tends to create a gummy tooth, or xantham gum, which is expensive.  I include a little background on food intolerances because this is written for the general public.

Good Food Cheap #14

Baking Gluten Free
By Larisa Sparrowhawk

Food intolerances are an often-unrecognized source of symptoms including fatigue, seizures, rashes, acne, hives, stomach aches, diarrhea, flatulence, headaches, mood swings, sugar rushes and crashes, unexplained over or underweight, and tingling extremities.

Gluten intolerance symptoms come and go with ingestion of or abstinence from offending foods containing wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale and kamut. Most medical science says it is genetic but a few studies suggest a bacteriological origin. It appears to me that when an adult with gluten intolerance goes untreated, the illness worsens to become celiac disease in the following generation.

Rather than an annoying food intolerance, celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which even tiny amounts of gluten in beer, soy sauce and salad dressing will trigger an immune response and damage intestinal villi. People with untreated celiac disease are often malnourished and more susceptible to other food intolerances, intestinal cancer, lymphoma and autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, thyroid disease and diabetes.

Gluten free grains and flours include: amaranth, arrowroot, bean, buckwheat, corn, flax, millet, montina, potato, quinoa, rice, sago, soy (a goitrogen to be used with caution), tapioca and teff. Most people can also include oats in their diets.

Gluten-free cornbread: Preheat oven to 350. Combine 1 cup rice flour, 1 cup corn meal, 2 ½ tsp.baking powder and ½ tsp. salt. Set aside. Mix 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp. honey and 1/4 cup melted butter together. Combine the wet and dry mixtures quickly. Add 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels. Bake in 8x8 inch pan for 20-25 minutes. You may stir in grated cheese, onion flakes and chopped bell peppers. For better digestion, you may also soak the flours in the milk in the refrigerator overnight and then add the remaining ingredients.

Next week: more gluten free breads!

Larisa Sparrowhawk is owner of Localvore Fresh Oregon Foods, 115 E. Central Ave in Sutherlin 459-1259