Boloco: Make Your Own Bowl or Burrito

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If you live in New England, Boloco is probably already on your radar. Its burritos come in flavors inspired by many cuisines—you could call them wraps, really, since only a couple of the choices are typical Mexican fare. Their menu has many options for those trying to avoid heartburn.

The best option for GERD is to make your own bowl or burrito. Walk down the ingredient line to see what’s there, as it can be tough to find all of the options just by reading the menu. My most recent bowl (pictured here) featured quinoa, baby kale, broccoli, chicken, black beans, corn salsa, carrots, cilantro, and cheese. I also recommend the roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, carnitas, celery, pinto beans, beets, cucumbers, and brown rice.

I didn’t put a sauce on this particular bowl because the ingredients have so much flavor. The Thai peanut and tikka masala sauces are both delicious, but you’ll want to order them on the side and use sparingly to spare your throat.

Sometimes I order a mini burrito so I can save room for a shake. The Jimmy Carter (peanut butter, banana, and yogurt) is my favorite, but the seasonal pumpkin shake is a welcome treat as well. Boloco is a restaurant WIN in many ways!

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Apricot-Banana Oatmeal Bites

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I wouldn’t call these cookies, but they satisfy a sweet tooth and come in cute little packages. The texture is crispy on the outside and oatmeal-like on the inside. This is the kind of snack I would serve to my all-female book club, but it probably wouldn’t fit in as well at a Superbowl party.

Be sure to use Turkish apricots if you’re worried about heartburn. If not, any dried fruit will work here. If you want the bites to be more gooey and less oatmeal-like, try reducing the oats to 1 cup. This recipe is very forgiving, so throw everything in the bowl and bake!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (gluten-free if desired)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (I used pecans and almonds)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dried Turkish apricots, chopped

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and move the racks to the top and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the oats and nuts until finely chopped.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. IMG_5924
  4. Scoop 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into your hand and roll it into a ball. Place it on the parchment paper and flatten slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough. IMG_5928
  5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then switch the cookie sheets and bake for 13 to 15 more minutes, until the bites are golden brown and the air in the kitchen smells toasty.
  6. Move bites to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in the fridge or freeze for later.

Makes 20 to 24 cookies. Active time 15 minutes; total time 45 minutes. Adapted from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/banana-oatmeal-snack-cookies

Raspberry-Avocado Smoothie

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As is obvious from the lag between blog posts, I haven’t been in the kitchen much this summer. The large box of produce I get delivered every other week from Boston Organics seems to make me cook less; I’ve been eating a lot of simple veggie wraps, salads, and smoothies.

I’ve heard that avocado is delicious in smoothies, but I don’t normally buy high-fat avocados. After getting one in the produce delivery, I experimented with eating a quarter of an avocado at a time. With a relatively low-fat meal, it didn’t cause any heartburn.

To store the rest of the avocado between uses, leave the extra flesh in the skin and wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap. Be sure to push the plastic into empty space in the skin.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 of an avocado
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup soy or almond milk
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt OR more banana (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the first 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. For an extra-thick smoothie, add yogurt or more banana and blend again.

Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.texanerin.com/2012/04/raspberry-banana-avocado-smoothie.html

Perfect Low-Fat Banana Muffins

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After much experimentation, I declare this the best butter-free, oil-free banana muffin recipe. The key to keeping it moist is to use 3 bananas. Most recipes call for only 2, but these 3-banana muffins are definitely less dry.

These muffins aren’t as velvety as the butter-filled ones, but they still hit the spot. They’re nice and dense, which makes them a filling snack. I recommend making them without wrappers; these can be tough to remove from the papers. Plus, it’s easier to freeze extras when they don’t have wrappers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 overripe bananas, mashed
  • scant 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat white flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add the sugar and beaten egg to the mashed bananas and stir, using a fork to remove as many banana chunks as possible. Add the applesauce and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and stir until well mixed. IMG_5515
  4. Scoop a scant 1/4 cup of batter into each of 10 standard muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. (Do not use paper liners unless you’re willing to wait several hours for the cupcakes to cool.)
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then remove from the pan and enjoy.

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Makes 10. Active time 15 minutes; total time 30 minutes. Adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/best-ever-banana-muffins-62286

Raspberry-Cucumber Smoothie

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It’s smoothie season! Spring is finally here in Boston, and I’ve been pulling out my smoothie maker almost every day. During the colder months I missed taking a swig of a cool drink and having it feel refreshing.

Since my discovery that raspberries have a high enough pH for heartburn sufferers, my smoothies have been even more delicious than before. You can improve any smoothie recipe from The Low-Acid Kitchen (except maybe the pumpkin variety) by adding tartness with a few frozen raspberries!

This was my first time adding cucumber to a smoothie, and I love the freshness. It was missing creaminess, though, so I added a few spoonfuls of vanilla yogurt. Yogurt can be acidic due to the fermentation process and the addition of fruit such as strawberry, mango, or lemon—but a few spoonfuls of vanilla won’t cause a problem. It makes a big difference in the texture, though, especially when you want to cut back on the banana to let other flavors shine.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 a frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 a cucumber, peeled and seeds removed
  • 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 3 tbsp nonfat vanilla yogurt (dairy, soy, or almond)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender or mini-chop.
  2. Blend until smooth and enjoy! Serve with whole-wheat toast, almond butter, and the other half of the banana to make a full breakfast.
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Serves 1. Active and total time 5 minutes. Adapted from http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2013/10/minty-raspberry-banana-smoothie-vegan.html