After an amazing run of guest chefs, this post is all me! Specifically, every recipe is a weird creation of my own. None of these dishes were inspired by a recipe or dish I was served. I hope you'll all walk away from this post inspired to make your own creations (which will come in handy because you won't necessarily need a shopping list when you go to the grocery store). You'll also find yourself throwing away less fruits and vegetables because they have gone bad before you could find a recipe to use them in. Every dish in this post ended up being absolutely delicious, and every single one resulted from me looking through what I had left in my fridge and figuring out how to combine them.
Breakfast - Potato Celery Stir-Fry
3 medium potatoes, diced
Half a red onion, finely chopped
Fry in a frying pan (I used my new ceramic frying pan) at a medium heat with a teaspoon of oil (I used grapeseed) until the potatoes start to brown.
Add one teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves (you could easily substitute with approximately a 1/2 tsp of a dry herb).
Cook for another five minutes or so.
Add approx. 1 1/2 cups of sliced celery and approx. 1/2 cup of water.
Allow water to completely evaporate, stirring minimally.
Add one tsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos, and salt and pepper to taste.
Top with hemp hearts (stored in freezer)
*Note - I have not yet researched ceramic cook wear, so I can't vouch for its safety.
Lunch - Mustard Squash Soup
2 small kabocha squash, cut in half and roasted
3 tsp. brown mustard seeds
2 red onions chopped
7-8 cups of water
3 cups of split red lentils
3 tbsp. Glutino onion soup mix
Start by putting the mustard seeds in the bottom of a pan with oil (see image below). Cook them at a high heat until they start to pop. Just like making popcorn, wait until the popping starts to decrease, at which point add a little bit of water. The water will immediately boil and steam, so don't be alarmed. Toasting mustard seeds is a bit of an art, so please don't be disappointed if you don't get it right the first time!
Then add the onions, and cook at a medium-high heat until they start to brown. Add the water, onion soup mix, and lentils. Bring to a boil and then leave at a minimum heat, covered, until the lentils soften. Scoop the squash out of the skins, add to pot, and mix with a hand blender.
Dinner - Spicy Fish and Cabbage
Put these things into casserole pot (mine is cast iron covered in enamel), one at a time on top of each other (see above):
One tbsp oil
Half a green cabbage, roughly chopped
Half a red opinion, finely chopped
One tomato, chopped
6 large sun-dried tomatoes (in oil), finely chopped
One tbsp spice mixture (I purchased this mixture whole and ground it in a coffee bean grinder http://www.worldspice.com/blends/biscayne-citrus-rub)
One package of frozen fish (I think it was cod), thawed, placed on top, and drizzled with one tbsp lemon juice and one tbsp oil
Bake at 380 degrees for 30-40 mins
Then mix (see below). Waiting to mix the fish allows it to keep its own flavour. You can make this dish with any spice mixture you have at home.
Dessert - Mango Sorbet
Ingredients (to be honest, I guessed the quantities I used after I made it :)
1 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks
1/2 tsp. lemon juice
One tsp. maple syrup
2 tablespoons water
Place all the ingredients in the chopper attachment to a hand mixer and puree. This is more delicious than ice cream!
*Note - I generally suggest patients steer clear of super-cold foods and tropical fruits. People often have allergies and/or intolerance to tropical fruits, which is one the reasons why I encourage everyone to eat as locally as possible. Additionally, eating cold food is a shock to the digestive tract, which is especially difficult for the body to handle in the middle of a North Bay winter (when it is working hard to stay warm). However, when you have a craving, sometimes it's best to just honour it!
Some friends and I got together for a little party this weekend, and I decided to feature all the delicious food we brought as this week's blog entry! Every single recipe in today's post comes from another blog because there are just so many great recipes on the Internet these days. A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful people who put in the extra effort creating food that I can eat when I'm out!!
Apricot Coconut Hearts
My friend says she left out the cashews, used wheat-free oats, substituted maple syrup for the agave, and sesame seeds for the hemp, but otherwise followed the directions.
I know it probably doesn't look all that yummy, and it was certainly difficult to figure out how to photograph, but it is really delicious!
Guest Chef - I'm the luckiest woman in the world to have so many friends prepare delicious meals for me! This week's guest chef is my good friend Maxine. I particularly admire Maxine's dedication to preparing healthy food for her family. She really puts in the time researching healthy food choices AND she is also committed to making the food extremely delicious. I'd venture a guess that her kids are often the envy of their friends when they open up their lunchboxes.
*the directions below are a combination of Maxine's instructions and my observations.
Dinner - Egg Rolls, Teriyaki Mahi Mahi, rice, and garnish (avocado, orange, and black sesame seeds).
Egg Rolls Recipe
2 small onions, chopped
3 carrots, shredded
1/4 large cabbage chopped
1 bag bean sprouts
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 salt-free, gluten-free veggie bouillon cube
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Rice Paper (pictured above)
Sesame oil (not the toasted variety)
I didn't add any water because the veggies kind of create their own juice as
they cook. I fried up the onions and garlic on medium-low heat because I was using sesame oil (you don't want to heat it too high because of its lower heat tolerance). Then, I added the cabbage, carrots, and the bouillon cube (cube would be optional as I don't always add it). Once the cabbage and carrots have softened, I add the bean sprouts and stir-fry until cooked through. Then, I added some Bragg's (I don't measure, but you want to ensure you add enough to make it taste eggroll-ish. I would guess I add approximately 1/4 cup).
Once the vegetables are cooked, I set them aside to cool a bit. Meanwhile, I set up my "wrapping station." You'll need to soak the rice paper in hot, but not scalding, water until they are soft. I do this by adding boiling water to a bowl of cool water. Once they are soft, I wring them out (as pictured above), place the veggies in the middle and wrap as shown above. As you can see, I wrap them once, and then wrap them in a second sheet to ensure they don't fall apart.
I baked them at 350 on an oiled baking sheet after coating them with sesame oil. I monitor them and when they start to get crispy I gently flip them over. I continue baking until both sides are sufficiently crispy.
Teriyaki Mahi Mahi Reipe
Marinate the fish in the following ingredients for at least 30 minutes
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup tamari (gluten-free ‘soy’ sauce) sauce
1/8 cup purified water
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger root
1-2 clove garlic minced
1/2 tsp. salt
Coat pan with coconut oil, fry fish in sauce (don't let it burn). Cook until done.
Chocolate Pudding Recipe (Link Below)
I used tapioca starch(flour) instead of arrowroot
I used maple syrup instead of agave (2/3 cup)
I used coconut beverage/drink as the milk alternative
Topped with cacao nibs
Guest Chef - This week's guest chef is my fabulous friend Jessie, a professional baker (currently home with two charming young girls) and a talented cook. I especially appreciate the wonderful things she bakes for me...they ALWAYS look and taste like something I shouldn't be eating. The rest of today's blog entry comes straight from Jessie. Enjoy!
*oh, one extra thing. Radishes have always been one of the few veggies I didn't like. Jessie fried them for me, and they were delicious! She also pointed out you can get local radishes a good portion of the year in our grocery stores. They'll be in my shopping basket from now on.
Breakfast - Banana-Chocolate Breakfast Bars (or after-dinner sweet treats!)
Adapted from the recipe for “Wholesome Banana Chocolate Breakfast Bars” from Clotilde Dusoulier’s blog chocolateandzucchini.com. I usually just make the original recipe, but as it contains ground almonds, I decided to adapt it for this occasion to make it nut-free. The adaptation worked out just as well as the original. I make these often for quick breakfasts, snacks, or late-night sweet treats. I love that they are only sweetened with banana and a little bit of semi-sweet chocolate. They keep well on your counter for up to five days.
-2 cups wheat-free rolled oats (I get the Bob’s Red Mill variety at the No Frills on Lakeshore)
-1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
-1/2 cup ground flax seed
-1/3 cup gluten- and dairy-free semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped-up a bit (I get the Cocoa Camino variety at the Metro on Lakeshore)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-4 medium-sized bananas, mashed-up (I used over-ripened organic bananas that I had frozen)
-1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Mix dry ingredients together. In separate bowl, mix mashed banana, melted coconut oil and vanilla together. Mix all ingredients together. Press into greased 8” square baking pan, making top smooth. Bake at 350˚F for about 40 minutes, or at 325˚F on the convection setting for about 30 minutes, until edges start to brown. These squares will not rise.
*Please note. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so if your bananas are cold at all (as mine were, since they were recently de-thawed) it will cause the melted oil to re-solidify once it is mixed with the bananas. This is not a big deal, just stir it all together and keep going. Your squares will be fine.
Lunch - Jessie's exact words were "You’re on your own, Dielle!" So, I guess you're on your own too ;)
Dinner - Coconut-Tomato Soup (and brown rice and loads of toppings).
Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s recipe for “A Simple Tomato Soup” on her blog www.101cookbooks.com. Makes a large batch, but can be easily halved (in which case unused coconut milk can be refrigerated or frozen for later use)
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-2 medium-sized onions, diced
-1½ teaspoons ground cumin
-3 (or so) pounds of tomatoes, in any form (this equals about two [28 oz] cans or two [22 oz] jars of tomatoes. This time I used Ontario Roma tomatoes that I had frozen in September.)
-1 can [13.5 oz] coconut milk (regular or “light”)
-salt, to taste
Fry onions in oil, on medium heat, until translucent. Add cumin and continue frying for a minute. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add coconut milk and cook for another few minutes. Blend with a handheld immersion blender (or with a regular blender or even a food processor) until fully pureed. Add salt to taste.
Serve over big scoop of brown rice. We ate this topped with sliced avocado, fried radishes, sunflower seeds toasted with Bragg’s, and fresh cilantro. For those not avoiding dairy this is also delicious topped with plain yogurt and lemon zest.
*Picky-kid option: My daughters (ages two and four) will sometimes turn up their noses at thin, pureed soups and/or things all mixed together. So with this meal you can continue simmering some of soup down to more of a sauce-like consistency and stir some into the rice. Serve on a plate and let the kids choose which topping to eat on the side.
Guest Chef - Every once in a while I'm going to feature the recipes of a 'guest chef' who is kind enough to make me food that avoids my major allergens (gluten, nuts, and shellfish). This week's chef is my dear friend Sarah, who has been making me delicious gluten-free food for almost ten years now. It's a very special friend that keeps a container marked 'gluten-free flour' on her kitchen counter. The following dishes are from my visit with Sarah and her family over New Year's. These dishes were eaten over the course of a four-day visit.
Breakfast - pancakes made with El Peto gluten (and corn) free pancake mix.
(start with the potatoes)
-four large potatoes cut in 1/2 inch cubes, rinsed
-2 tsp smoked paprika
-2 tbsp oil
-salt and pepper
Place on a baking sheet on parchment paper.
Bake at 425 F, until brown (approx. half an hour)
Lightly butter an 8 by 8/9" Pyrex baking pan.
Put potatoes in the bottom of the pan.
(then make the rest)
Chop 1/2 pound of bacon into one inch pieces and fry. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place on paper towel to soak up extra grease.
Dice three small yellow onions and sautee in the bacon grease until golden in colour. Remove with slotted spoon and distribute over potatoes evenly. Do the same with the bacon.
Mix one dozen eggs with three tablespoons of water, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour egg mixture into pan over the potatoes, bacon, and onions.
Cover with tinfoil.
Bake at 325 F for an hour (until the centre is set).
Dinner - Chicken wings, potato latkes, and broccoli salad.
Salad made with chopped broccoli, diced apple, dried cranberries, minced red onion, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, and Kraft Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing.
Potato Latke's Recipe
-3 cups of shredded potato (thoroughly rinsed, with water pressed out of them)
-one egg (ignore the second yolk in the photo above ;)
-1/4 of a large red onion, pureed
-one tbsp. Olive oil
-3 tbsp corn starch
-salt and pepper
Fry in a little bit of oil. Sarah uses a frying pan with a ceramic coating which requires very little oil and is extremely easy to clean. She gave me one as a Christmas present, and I look forward to using it in future dishes!
Red Curry & Lime Chicken Wings Recipe
-5 lbs of split chicken wings, tips removed
-1/4 cup olive oil (a lighter oil because extra virgin olive oil will burn in the oven)
-1 tbsp granulated garlic (fresh garlic would also burn)
-1/2 cup rice flour
-salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place wings in a large bowl and coat with olive oil. Season wings with the salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Next, sprinkle the rice flour over all the wings and toss them to completely coat them. Place coated wings on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, so they aren't touching one another, and bake for 35 minutes, turning once half-way through. Your baking sheet should have edges or else oil will drip off the wings into the oven.
-3 tbsp melted butter
-one tbsp Thai Kitchen red curry paste
-juice of two limes (and approximately one tbsp lime zest)
Place cooked wings in a large bowl and drizzle the sauce over them and then toss to coat them completely. The rice flour will make the wings really nice and crispy and for some reason the coating doesn't diminish the crispy-ness!
What I Eat
I want to give you an idea of how to eat healthfully on a restricted diet, without a lot of work, by showing you how I eat! I eat strictly gluten-free. You'll find A LOT of veggies in this blog! I eat both fish and meat a few times a week (local and/or humane, whenever possible), and dairy when I'm visiting family and friends, or eating out. I hope you find this blog inspiring and interesting!