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Cooking And Ptsd - How To Make It Easy

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OMG! If I ate like that again, I might be in the ER & die an earlier death than I need to!
Allergic to everything except the peppers & ham(if it's uncured)!
Since I went to a paleo diet of veggies, fruits, clean protein sources & good fats, most of my health issues have disappeared & I feel alive again!
I wonder if anyone has done a study of how many of us with PTSD have eating disorders & food allergies?
When I feel really down & in need of a boost, I make these "brownies".
No cook. Just a food processor. No sugar, no artificial anything. Just awesome goodness!

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup pitted dates
5 tablespoons raw cacao power
4 tablespoons shredded raw coconut
1-2 tablespoons raw honey

Add ingredients in the order listed & when it is all done, press into a glass dish & put in refrigerator.
Then eat until you feel happy or sick!:devilish:
Its SuperBowl LI !!!

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

- Chicken Wings (jointed) or Chicken Drummettes (the good part ;)) with the skin still on. At any quantity.
- Sauce
- Dipping Sauce

The instructions are going to get long, but it's a really simple recipe. I'm just talking a lot. Essentially; Steam, Cool, Bake, Toss with Sauce, voila! Done.


Many options here. Franks Buffalo Wings Sauce is best IMO, but if it's not available to you? Any capsicum pepper sauce (like Tabasco brand, or Crystal Lousiana Hot Sauce brand) + butter (or vegan margarine for the Kosher or dairy intolerant) at a 2:1 sauce to butter ratio works just fine :sneaky:

Dipping Sauce
Anything cool & creamy! Ranch salad dressing, BleuCheese salad dressing, etc.


1. Steam or gently boil your chicken wings until they reach an internal temperature of 180F. Generally takes about half an hour. You don't want to render the fat, as they "deep fry" in their own fat in a few hours when you pop them in the oven. So they're going to look pretty gross. Pale, flubsy, and icky. No worries. This is just step one.

2. Cool. Most important step. Don't skip it. Throw them in the freezer (or outside if it's snowy) if you're in a hurry, or refrigerate overnight. Get the suckers very, very cold. Half frozen, even fully frozen, is just fine as they're fully cooked, you don't have to worry about their internal temp later. But cold cold cold is necessary. This is what keeps them juicy and plump instead of dried out while you bake them golden brown.

3. preheat oven to 425F-450F (hotter is better) // 220C - 235C

4. Line up on a baking sheet. I tend to line mine with tinfoil to avoid scrubbing, later.

5. Bake for apx 15-20 minutes or so (10-15 if hotter oven), until top side is golden brown. Should begin to hear lots of sizzling as they're starting to fry in their own fat.

6. pull out, and flip the suckers over. So obnoxious. I hate this part. But you don't want half crispy & half soggy. If I'm making a few hundred I just make sure they're well drained (usually unnecessary) & invert another pan over each original pan and flip them onto the new pan. Rearrange the few escapees. Nip back into the oven. If I'm just doing a few dozen I'll just roll them with a fork, or flip with tongs, then just nip them back into the oven.

7. Bake until super sizzle crispy skin is golden brown! Check every 5 minutes or so.

8. using a big bowl, generously drizzle buffalo a sauce over chicken wings and toss to coat.

9. allow to sit for a few minutes to soak in sauce, and arrange on plate / platter. Extras can be kept warm, wrapped in tinfoil and placed in the (turned off but still warm) oven. Or not. Room temp buffalo wings are still delicious. :D
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Tostones & Guacamole

Tostones - Twice Fried Plantains
Cooking oil
Sauté pan / griddle

I prefer sweeter tostones, so I usually use yellow or black ones, but green ones work just fine / are what is theoretically more traditional. Any color tastes great, but the more black they are the sweeter they will be. The raw green ones are just a bitch to peel without a knife (and sometimes even with a knife!).

- Peel Plantains (use a knife to chop off both ends, slice up the middle, and peel the thick skin off to the best of your ability. If you're left with fibrous starchy strips and clumps of peel absolutely refusing to let go? Just use your knife or a veggie peeler to get the rest of it off).

- Cut into 2 inch / 5cm wide slices

- Fry 1 layer in hot but not smoking pan for a few minutes

- Flip & Fry the other side for a few minutes

- Pull off and drain excess oil on paper towels

- Smash (using a heavy bottomed glass, plate, or similar) until about 1/2 inch 1cm thick

- Put back in hot pan and fry on each side until caramelized golden brown.

- Pull off & drain excess oil on paper towels

- Lightly Salt

- Serve warm with guacamole for dipping :D

*NOTE* If you want to make a really big batch, they freeze just fine, but should be either refried to warm up, or popped in the toaster to warm up, so they recrisp; rather than a microwave, which will just make them soggy.

*Dessert* Even sweet plantains are savory & starchy, rather than yellow banana sweet. If you'd like to make a dessert version of these for dipping in coconut Icecream, or layering with marshmallows & drizzling over caramel sauce, chocolate, etc.? Use red fingerling bananas, or "normal" yellow bananas. Same method, but wicked sweet & gooey, rather than savory & crispy.

White onion - chopped
Garlic - minced
Cilantro / Fresh coriander
Lemon & Lime juice
Tomato or tomatillos
Jalapeño (optional) chopped... Can substitute any other hot pepper if desired.
Salt & Pepper

Guacamole is just pico de gallo / salsa added to an avocado base, so if you have some of either on hand, will save time to just pour & stir until it tastes right. Otherwise, add the ingredients individually, & mash/stir until creamy. Serve in a bowl for dipping.
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Friday? This is probably obvious and my brain is slow today, but why go through the two steps of first cutting them wider and frying them and then smashing them thinner and frying them again? Wouldn't it be easier just to cut them thinner and fry them once?

Or to put it another way, please sell me on why these are the best fried plantains ever and it's worth frying them twice.
@sun seeker ... Think of plantains more like potatoes than bananas. They're really hard when they're raw. But very squishy once cooked. Frying them the first time softens them up and allows them to smash / breaks all the fibers. So they're crispy outside and fluffy inside.

You can cut them thin and fry them ... But you'll have plantain-chips (and if 1cm thick will break a tooth, slice them chip thin for plantain-chips), & hard all the way through because the fibers cook solid in place, instead "fluffing" via the smashing process, that makes them tostones.

LOL & Not a stupid question. I've tried making them by cutting thin & skipping the smash & 2nd fry. Oh. Chips. Whoops. (I've also tried smashing them raw. Like trying to mash raw potatoes, some things just don't work so well! :facepalm: )

Really any kind of already cooked plantain will work, if you have leftovers. But if you're starting fresh, it's usually easier to just repeat the same method than dirty up more pots&pans using one method to cook them the first time, and then another method to "cookie" them. And frying twice gives them a really lovely double caramelizing of the sugars. I DGAF if I have a bunch of already cooked plantains left over. But 2 birds 1 stone (1 dirty pan & extra crispy) if I'm starting with raw bananas.
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Omg, @Friday, you kill me. I shouldn't read your posts here late at night when I'm trying not to eat past 8 pm (or whenever I get home from work.) I love tostones but I particularly like the sweeter fried platanos with a big bowl of Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice), with a nice big dollop of sour cream. It's like dinner and desert in one!
Zucchini boats

You want big thick zucchinis for this, because you are going to slice them length-wise and hollow them out.

So, do that. Then, scoop out the inner part, the seeds, leaving the flesh intact. You don't want to scoop so much out that you pierce the skin, but you want to hollow it out enough so there is room for filling. You can use a teaspoon for this, but I use a melon baller, which hollows it out quite evenly.

ETA: I usually throw the innards I just scooped out into soup or sauté them to throw on top of rice or combine with other vegetables.

Note: don't cut the ends off the zucchini; you don't want the filling to fall out.

Next, pop them in the oven for a few minutes (5-10) to cook before you add the filling. You want to cook the flesh down a tad, and also let some of the moisture evaporate before adding the filling.

While your naked zucchinis are cooking, prepare the filling.

Filling options (just for starters, use your imagination!)

Quinoa + Parmesan -- I mix equal parts and then season to taste. I like this because quinoa is a great vegetarian protein option, and I love a good parmesan.

Ground beef/turkey + rice

Marinara sauce, ground beef/turkey, mini pepperonis and loads of mozzarella cheese. This is a great option for kids, we call them pizza boats.

Left overs!

Last step:

Take out the cooked boats, spoon in filling of your choice, top with cheese if desired. Pop those suckers back in the oven and cook until heated through.
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