Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hot days...Cool Katz


As camp season is upon us I face the unsavory task of going through my children's special dietary needs and medical treatments to a new crop of adults. That task in itself is pretty daunting. I find it best to leave as little wiggle room as possible. This basically translates to providing most food myself. My daughters' camp offers lunch and snacks every day. Lillie cannot partake of any of it unless they serve potato chips (and even then they must be plain) or ices. It is a great convenience...not having to make lunches all summer...IF you can take advantage of the program. Since I have to prepare lunches for them nearly every weekday, one thing that I look for on these hot summer days is convenience.

Basically Lillie has three acceptable lunches: pasta with sauce and melted cheese in a thermos, yogurt or a sandwich with margarine (not butter!) on both sides of the bread and square cheese. One day I gave Lillie a brand of gluten-free sandwich bread other than Katz's brand gluten-free Sliced White Bread. Upon returning home she asked me indignantly, "Why didn't you give me the bread that tastes good?" Recently, I was pleased to see that they have come out with a Wholesome Bread variety that contains, fava and garbanzo beans, teff flour and flax seeds. Loving whole grain bread to start with, I was pleased to see that there is a now a tasty gluten-free variety. As I find the goal of most gluten-free companies is first and foremost to make their products taste like "the real (glutenful) thing". As a result, it seems they tend to use a lot of "white" flours like potato, rice and tapioca, which are low in fiber. Upon sampling Katz's new higher fiber bread, I found the texture similar to the regular brand of high fiber bread I buy for myself. As I've mentioned before on this blog, Katz's is the only gluten free brand I've come across that tastes good without heating or toasting. Although, it arrives frozen, so I usually do store it in the freezer and reheat before making Lillie's lunch.

Given my aversion for using the oven in 100 degree heat as we've had the last week, I also love Katz's line of cookies, everything from Sprinkle Cookies to Jam Thumbrints to Chocolate Rugelach---my all time favorite. Katz's really has done a great job of making them look and taste like "the real thing. Recently, I went to a reception at our synagogue, and grabbed a box of the Chocolate Rugelach for Lillie on the way out the door---she ate half the box by the end of the event. And, they looked similar to the glutenful variety on the dessert table!

If you can't get Katz's in your local store, they have a program wherein you can refer new store and they will send you a $50 coupon for their products! I think that is very cool of Katz's.

In this very hot weather I also hate making hot soups, but my family still clamors for their soup Friday night. One day I made a strawberry soup, and Lillie and Rosie decided we should have a different colored soup each week. To date I've also made blueberry soup and cantaloupe soup (my personal favorite).

It may seem strange to cook the cantaloupe melon, but somehow the dish works. With all of the fruit soups, do not even think about eating them until they are fully chilled--8 hours to overnight. This is a good way to use up a melon that's seen better days, and maybe isn't so aesthetically pleasing on its own.

Cantaloupe Soup with Blueberries
from Cooking the Whole Foods Way, by Christina Pirello, p. 113

1 ripe peach, peeled, pitted and diced
1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup apple juice
Pinch of sea salt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Fresh blueberries, for garnish

Place peach and cantaloupe in a soup pot with apple juice and salt. Cook over medium heat, covered about 10 (to 20) minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth (Note: you may also place in a large storage container and puree with a hand blender). Stir in lemon juice and vanilla, pour into a bowl and cover. Chill thoroughly before serving. Serve garnished with fresh blueberries and mint leaves.

Makes 4 servings

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