Latkes for Jewish New Year

Diane WolffHow To, Recipes, Thoughts Comments

Get Out Your Spiralizer and Twist Your Wrist Latkes are potato pancakes. They are traditional at Hanukkah, but may be eaten at any holiday. They are usually made with russet potatoes, but you can make a substitution in this recipe. I make sweet potato latkes and include two tablespoons of lightly sautéed scallions. I like the balance of the savory and sweet. This is a tweaked version of the traditional recipe, flash roasted in the oven instead of shallow fried in chicken fat or schmaltz. If you use lower sodium … Read More

A Hanukah Menu from the Jewish Kitchen

Diane WolffHow To, Recipes, Thoughts Comments

As Hanukah begins on December 24th in 2016, I’ve included a recipe for turkey, plus three fantastic recipes for side dishes from the Jewish kitchen. These are perfect for puree. These are dishes that can accompany a classically roasted turkey. If you have a family, roast the turkey with your family, as usual. Or, you can get a roast breast or roast leg of turkey from the deli counter of your supermarket by special order. In my eBook, The Purees of Fall: Delicious Under Pressure, I include a recipe for … Read More

Herbed Brisket with Chickpea Risotto

Diane WolffEquipment, How To, Recipes, Thoughts Comments

A New Year Menu from the Essential Puree Jewish Kitchen My favorite cook for clean eating recipes from the Jewish kitchen is Tori Avey. Tori has created a delicious risotto for the Rosh Hashanah meal. I adapt it for the dysphagia kitchen in the following manner. Tori makes her risotto on the stovetop and her brisket in the oven. Both of these are long cooking methods. For the dysphagia kitchen, I suggest shortening the cooking time with an electric pressure cooker. The flavor and the texture are perfect for puree.  … Read More

Introducing the Foolish: Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blue Sauce

Diane WolffHow To, Thoughts Comments

A Quickies for Caregivers Sweet Snack: Ready in Twenty Minutes The Fool is the easiest and most basic dessert in the world. It can also serve as a snack at four o’clock in the afternoon, when there’s a dip in energy and a person might want a light snack. This combination of blueberries and blackberries is a treat for the eyes as well as for the tastebuds. I call this version a Foolish because a Fool, the almost abandoned traditional English dessert, is properly made of a layer of fruit … Read More

The Portable Snack: Three Ways to Eat On the Go

Diane WolffAdvice, How To, Thoughts Comments

The Tailgate, the Portable Shake and the Instant Milkshake Fall is almost here. The weather is about to be spectacular. Within a month, it will start to get cooler and soon the leaves will begin to turn. Even if you live in a warm climate, such as in California, Arizona or Florida, the air becomes cooler and the humidity drops. People want to be outdoors, and that includes the dysphagia patient. The biggest social event of Fall is attendance at a sporting event, like soccer, football, or lacrosse. The family … Read More

Five Ways to Help a Caregiver 

Diane WolffAdvice, How To, Thoughts Comments

Dysphagia Care at Home and In a Healthcare Facility Let me speak of the unsung heroes of our world, those who take care of the elderly and others of all ages with challenging health conditions of all types. We here at Essential Puree like to think of ourselves as having a caregiver perspective. I speak from personal experience. I am an author and a journalist. I am an Asia specialist, and I have traveled all over the world in search of great stories. Through a chain of circumstance, I left the life … Read More

Ripe Plantain Arepas: The Latin Kitchen Series

Diane WolffHow To, Recipes, Thoughts Comments

Arepas de Plátano Maduro The arepa is one of the most popular foods in Colombia and Venezuela. It is probably equivalent to the English muffin or the scone but with a Latin flavor profile. This is a breakfast food, with a flavor like a banana biscuit with savory to balance the sweetness.  It can also be served as a side dish for meat or poultry. The arepa is made from ripe plantains. It is also made with masarepa, or corn flour. (available at specialty markets or from Amazon). The arepa … Read More

The No-No List

Diane WolffAdvice, Thoughts Comments

Essential Puree Recipes for the Dysphagia Kitchen with No Additives and Preservatives Essential Puree has a philosophy – Clean Eating. Our recipes, featured in both the From Scratch and Quickies for Caregivers series, recommend clean ingredients. We have a saying here at EP, “The least-processed food is the best.” Know where your food comes from, coax out the flavors, and treat food with respect. “Food is precious.” That last bit is a quote from the great chef Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Essential Puree believes that the nutritional … Read More

The National Dysphagia Diet: Guidelines for Purée

Diane WolffAdvice Comments

dysphagia diet, swallowing diisorder

The National Dysphagia Diet is the standard for dietary treatment of swallowing difficulties. Patients have their level of puree determined by healthcare providers. When using the Essential Purée Guidebook, please consult your healthcare provider (this includes the physician, speech pathologist and dietitian). The language and Lingo of Modified Foods and Beverages In 2002, the American Dietetic Association (now called the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) set the standards for the “National Dysphagia Diet: Standardization for Optimal Care”. As of the summer of 2015, the International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative is working … Read More

Leeza Gibbons Care Connection

Diane WolffNews Comments

leeza gibbons care connection

I am honored that the Leeza Gibbons Care Connection has posted a blog on their website about the Essential Puree Guidebook. The danger for caregivers is burnout and isolation. Leeza has provided a way for connection and understanding. This is tremendously important. Her website is an invaluable resource. I would like to personally acknowledge her contribution and thank her. I know from my own work how deeply caregivers want and need support. Check out the Leeza Gibbons Care Connection.