Good White

Several years ago, I remember Oprah lambasting white foods. White flour, white sugar, white bread, white tortilla chips, pastas. White represented anything processed and too much was killing us. Yes, of course, when you eat a whole bag or bowl. And I agree, there is zero nutrition in these, and much better alternatives: whole wheat flour, pastas, multi-grain tortilla chips. But the gift of bariatric surgery is that I can eat so little at a time, I'm not fretting about overeating any of these bad whites; I'm just sampling them.

But onto the good whites.

I used to be a huge red wine and tomato fan. But since surgery, the acidity of these really bothers me, causing serious heart burn. I take omeprazole daily, which is typical for bariatric patients, but of course learning to eat the things that don't make me uncomfortable is part of the journey. So, I've been experimenting with turning red dishes into WHITE ones...

I'm trying pizza again. For many months, the crust was just too much space in my new stomach. Each time I make it, I try for thinner and thinner crust. But always homemade crust. I usually add garlic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt to the white flour dough. I cook just the dough on the pizza pan for about 15 minutes on 425. Then pull out, let cool a bit, and squeeze on some honey. For the sauce, I use an Aldi brand alfredo sauce. Chop some butter and garlic rotisserie chicken and sprinkle on. Top with sliced fresh mozzarella or shredded chunk mozz and some fresh parmesan. Put back in oven until cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil.

Next time around I'm making it myself. I'll use this recipe from the great Gimme Some Oven by Ali Ebright: Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo Ali is a friend of my sister's. She started a blog from scratch, and is now a powerhouse of food blogging and more. Get addicted to her site. Hers is one of my first stops if I need a fresh, easy recipe.

I'm a big chili fan. I make it differently every time. With red chili, I started using fire roasted tomatoes and three beans. Meat became superfluous. But the acidity thing led me to white chili. This photo is a bit thin; one day in the fridge melded the flavors and thickened it up. I started by sauteing a sweet yellow onion and some garlic in the bottom of a pot. Added a small can of green chillies. Added two cans of drained cannellini beans. Salt, cumin, and bit of cayenne for some heat. Add chopped butter and garlic rotisserie chicken. Stir carefully as to not bust the beans. Add chicken stock to just below coverage. Simmer for 45 minutes. Let cool a bit before adding greek yogurt and some heavy cream. Top with cilantro or basil and some corn chips.

Wine. Oh, cheap great wine. How I adore you. My intro to cheap was three buck chuck from Trader Joe's. I never liked it, even pre-surgery. Yellow-tail cabernet-shiraz blend was my standard everyday wine for years. Then surgery happened, and most red wine went out the window. But moscato, brilliant. Slightly sweet, light, goes with everything including my nightly popcorn snack. And 2.99 a bottle from Aldi's Winking Owl brand. 

I'm looking forward to trying some new white recipes; like white bean hummus or a bechamel sauce over ham and cheese crepes. Or white gazpacho. I already make a mean tzatziki. Cheers!