Welcome back to another week of 'What I Eat.' This week's meals are extra simple, but were all very satisfying.
Breakfast - Steamed Green Beans and Baked Potato
The beans were steamed fresh and the potato was (previously roasted and) sliced up cold. I cannot put into words how much better I feel when I eat a breakfast like this, instead of a traditional choice such as sugary, processed breakfast cereal with milk.
Lunch - Steamed Broccoli
I combined steamed organic broccoli with raw pumpkin seeds, cubed avocado, and Bragg Liquid Soy Seasoning. This was a very satisfying dish!
Dinner - Rice Noodles and Kale
I got home from work late and wanted to prepare a quick, nutritious dinner. I put a pot of water on a burner set to the highest heat. I rinsed a bunch of kale and sliced it into strips. Once the water was boiling I dumped the kale in, and left it in the water long enough for it to reduce in volume. Then, I dumped in brown rice noodles. I stirred the mixture frequently for the first two minutes or so, and then less frequently until the noodles were soft, at which point I dumped the whole mixture into a metal colander. I definitely lost some of the nutrients in the water that drained away, but I just wanted to eat quickly! I added some Daiya shredded mozzarella 'cheese' and one clove of garlic pushed through a garlic press. It was really good!
This is a good opportunity for me to talk about the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen. This is an agreed upon list of fruits and vegetables that you should strive to purchase organic (the dirty dozen) or not worry about buying conventional (the clean fifteen) based on how readily each one absorbs pesticides. This guide can be extremely helpful when you're contemplating what produce you should purchase from the organic section. Kale is one of the 'Dirty Dozen.'
Breakfast - Fried Radishes, Grapefruit, and Toast
I found a giant bag of delicious red grapefruit from Texas at the grocery store, and I sliced up one of them. I fried some sliced radish in my ceramic frying pan with some avocado oil at a medium heat until soft. Last but not least, I made some gluten-free toast. I'm trying to kick my margarine habit, so I added extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to the toast, which is a substitution I'm growing to prefer.
Lunch - Bakes Beans, Carrot, and Olives
I left the house in a terrible rush. I didn't have any leftovers in the fridge, so I grabbed a can of baked beans, a can opener, a jar of garlic-stuffed olives, and a raw carrot and headed out the door. I can't say for certain that the olives are gluten-free, though the ingredients seemed safe. This was the first time I had tried this brand and, for what it's worth, I strongly prefer the President's Choice garlic stuffed olives (and they also have a simpler ingredients list).
Dinner - Pesto
Ingredients for Pesto
-two 40 g packages of fresh basil
-two cloves of garlic, peeled
-one cup of raw sunflower seeds
-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Add all the ingredients to a food processor, and mix until smooth.
Rest of Ingredients
-Daiya shredded mozzarella 'cheese'
-sliced zucchini, sauteed
-organic baby arugula
-organic cauliflower, chopped and steamed
I put the noodles into a pot of water, and brought it to a boil. I find the trick is to stir it frequently in the beginning so that it doesn't stick, and then less frequently towards the end of the cooking process so that the noodles don't break apart. Once they were soft, I strained them in a colander, thoroughly mixed in the pesto, and then dumped them on the arugula (to soften it a bit). Afterwards, I added the rest of the ingredients. Rice noodles don't make great leftovers, though these ones worked out well warmed up and carried in a thermos.
Welcome to another 'What I Eat' in which I admit I don't always follow my own advice, take a spur of a moment road trip, and figure out that beets can replace tomatoes...
Breakfast - Toast and Mango
I picked up a case of fresh mangoes that came from Florida. I try very hard not to buy fruits and vegetables that have traveled too far, or are out of season. We would all be healthier if we ate with the season and our climate, as nature intended. We are pretty used to seeing produce from Chile, South Africa, Israel, and other far-flung countries on our grocery-store shelves. The problem is that it means we can eat out-of-season fruits and vegetables that have lost a lot of their nutrients on a voyage during which they were exposed to toxins (such as fossil fuel emissions). Our bodies just aren't designed to process a lot of raw, cold fruits & vegetables in the dead of winter. Mangoes, obviously, are not in season or from my climate, but they looked so good I decided I just had to have them. What can I say? :)
The gluten-free toast is spread with WowButter, a soy butter that really does taste almost exactly like peanut butter! It's not the healthiest nut/seed butter out there but, again, sometimes I just go ahead and buy it anyway. The bottles come with stickers you can put on your kids' lunches so that schools know that the food is nut-free.
Lunch - Quinoa Dish
On the spur of the moment, we decided that we were going to take a day trip to Sudbury. I threw together this lunch last minute. I took the photo while we were eating lunch in the car. It was really good!
-quiona (one cup, mixed with two cups of water, brought to a boil, and then left to simmer until water was absorbed)
-small red onion, chopped
-can of northern beans, drained and rinsed
-red, yellow, and orange bell peppers, chopped and sauteed
-green beans (leftover from a previous meal), chopped and warmed
-apple cider vinegar, a 'glug' I would guess was about two tablespoons
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Treat - Cherry Turnover
I picked this up at the Chez Jean-Marc Bakery in Sturgeon Falls on the way to Sudbury. It was absolutely delicious! I can't wait to stop there again the next time I'm in town and try something else.
Dinner - Chili
My boyfriend recently discovered that he has a number of food intolerances, including tomatoes. He has been very sad about not being able to eat pasta sauce and chili. I did a bit of research, and figured out how to make a fairly decent tomato-free chili. It turned out extremely well, though I think I'll leave the mushrooms out next time.
I followed this recipe, altered in the following manner:
In a large pot, add the oil and heat over medium. Add garlic, peppers, onion, mushroom, and carrot and sauté until everything is soft, approximately 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, cover, and cook for about 30-40 minutes on low to medium heat.
Welcome to another week of 'What I Eat!'
Breakfast - Mushroom Toast
This breakfast was made with organic mushrooms and celery, sliced and fried in my ceramic frying pan with avocado oil. I added about a teaspoon of turmeric when the veggies were almost done. Then, I dumped the mixture on top of some toast which had been drizzled with olive oil, and topped it with fresh ground black pepper.
Lunch - Soup, Baby Bok Choy, Boiled Eggs and a Smoothie
My good friend Lisa made this delicious lunch for me. She used Pacific Foods Spicy Black Bean Soup (please note, I'm not sure if the website is reflecting what is available in North Bay because I'm 99% sure the tetra pak she used said the soup was gluten-free). She served the soup with hard-boiled eggs and steamed baby bok choy.
Lisa also served me a smoothie which she called her "Kitchen Sink Smoothie' (as in, 'everything but the kitchen sink,' pictured below), and it was delicious! She made the smoothie in a Nutribullet blender, which she purchased to help care for an elderly relative who was having trouble eating. The Nutribullet is a fantastic and extremely affordable version of high-powered blenders like the Vitamix and the Blendtec. The Nutribullet offers the same ability to pulverize whole food, making it easier to digest, at a much more affordable price. It does not, however, come with the same kind of warranties or quality of equipment (the fancier versions were warrantied for at least 7 years the last time I checked). Also, it may not pulverize food quite as thoroughly as the fancier blenders, though it does a very good job. I'll be getting more into high-powered blenders in future posts, so stay tuned! The ingredients of the smoothie are listed below:
Dinner - Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Soup)
This is one of my favourite dishes to make for company. I followed this recipe, except for the fact that I made my own chicken broth, used regular cremini mushrooms, and added zucchini. You can find fish sauce easily in North Bay (fair warning, it smells awful in the jar!). Lemon grass isn't too hard to find fresh in the produce section, I usually buy a few stalks and freeze what I don't use right away. Lime leaves (fresh or dried) are a bit harder to find, but you can make the dish without them, and add lime juice at the end. I served the soup over brown rice.
I made the broth from the bones of a previously cooked chicken that came from a farm outside of Powassan. The pieces of chicken in the soup came from a company called Blue Goose, available at Sobey's and Independent. This meat is a step in the right direction, guaranteeing that the animals are raised 'organic,' 'without the use of animal by-products,' with 'low population densities,' and 'access to the outdoors.' Their meat definitely tastes better than regular factory-farmed meat.
The ideal is to eat as little meat as possible AND to purchase it from local farms where animals eat naturally (grass, bugs, etc.) and are treated well. Meat is difficult to digest, acidifying, and carries with it all the accumulated toxins (heavy metals, chemicals, hormones, etc.) an animal has been exposed to in the course of it's life. However, it also provides valuable nutrition to those of us who struggle to properly absorb nutrients, particularly iron. I have made the personal choice not to subject my readers to any images or details of the horrifying conditions factory-farmed animals are subjected to, but I would venture a guess most of you would find it disturbing. There are so many reasons to give up factory-farmed meat - taste, compassion, or health, whatever works for you! Most people can replace some of their meat dishes with beans and lentils, and end up healthier and wealthier.
Last but not least, I recently acquired a new (to me) freezer and I'm excited to switch over to eating local, grass-fed meat, ideally from farms I've been able to visit. I'll post the details as I go, and perhaps I'll even get to share some pictures!
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!