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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Comfort Food

"Food is a lot of people's therapy - when we say comfort food, we really mean that. It's releasing dopamine and serotonin in your brain that makes you feel good."

I am starting to gear up to train for my third Boston Marathon. That means preparing my body for the training load by starting to ramp up my mileage and by making sure I am eating healthy food. It is getting cold here in Milwaukee which makes me think of comfort food.

In fall comfort food usually means something with pumpkin and I have two recipes.  First a soup. I love this soup because it tastes good and is healthy. After this season I decided I needed to eat a bit healthier. So this a soup like this is a good choice because it is low fat and helps me get more vegetables.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

½ fresh mushrooms, sliced
½ cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 can ( 15 ounce) pumpkin
1 can ( 12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon Thai red curry
½ teaspoon salt

In a soup pot saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter until they soften. Add the flour.  Add broth, pumpkin, milk, honey and spices.  Add salt to taste.  Heat through. Makes 7 servings.

While I was on this comfort food kick I decided to make some desert. I have a sweet tooth.  I am trying to make some deserts that are at least a little on the healthy side.  I had some left over bread so I thought a bread pudding sounded good.  It is an excuse to turn on the oven. I love it when the house gets all warm with the great smell of bread or a yummy desert in the oven.  I didn't have any raisins so I decided to make this recipe.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

6 large eggs
1 can pumpkin ( 16 ounces)
3 cups Fat Free half and half
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup Brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
8 cups bread cut into ½ inch pieces

Combine the eggs, pumpkin, half & half, sugar, spices and brandy in a bowl.  Mix well and add the bread.  Pour into a buttered  9” x 13” pan. Let the mixture rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.   Pre-heat oven to 350F and bake the pudding for 40 to 50 minutes until the custard is set and the top is just starting to brown.

Great served warm with whipped cream.

Makes about 18 small servings.

To make it special I put it in a desert glass and topped with a little cool whip.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 137 members in 27 states. We also have members in Australia, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland and Iran. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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