Today's post is, unintentionally, all about balsamic vinegar and buckwheat. Today's dishes were also all, intentionally, extremely delicious!
Breakfast - Buckwheat Porridge With Peaches
Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed, as opposed to a grain. It's pretty easy to cook. You just use two parts water to one part groats (that's what the seeds are called). Bring the water to a boil, add the groats, and then simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes, until all the water has been absorbed. I made mine with Ontario peaches that I froze when they were in season last summer. This dish was sweet enough I didn't need to add any sweetener, and fairly filling.
You can make the groats even more digestible by soaking them overnight (in about four times as much water, and then rinsing thoroughly in the morning). With one cup of soaked groats, you would only need 1/2 cup of water, about five minutes of simmering.
Kasha is the name for toasted buckwheat, and I'm going to try that soon, and get back to you about how it works out!
Lunch - Rich Man's Stew
This turned out to be absolutely delicious! The combo of basil and balsamic vinegar really works. This was my first time making this dish, and people were asking me for the recipe as they ate it. I used this recipe, except I substituted celery for green peppers. I got the recipe from this cookbook, which was pretty good!
Dinner - Sweet Potato Noodle Dish
I found these amazing noodles at the Bulk Barn (picture below). They don't say gluten-free on the package, but the website (and ingredients list) confirms that they are. They are super easy to cook, and hold their form well but, as with rice noodles, they make TERRIBLE LEFTOVERS. I decided to pair them with steamed swiss chard, caramelized onions, fried sweet potatoes, and balsamic vinegar. This dish was SO GOOD!
If you've never caramelized onions, here is how I do it. I use red onions. I slice them into strips and put them in my cast iron frying pan with some olive oil. I fry them until they start to brown and then reduce the heat to a medium-low temperature and leave them for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Delicious!
Breakfast - Sausage, Toast, and Persimmon
For the most part, I try to avoid processed grains, but I'm having a hard time going without toast in the morning lately. This is the Little Northern Bakehouse Millet and Chia Loaf, which I pick up at Independent Grocers. I like this bread because it is free of gluten, dairy, and eggs. The sausage is from our local Dalew Farms, I take part in their cow share program. I also try to steer clear of imported and/or tropical fruits, but I have weakness for persimmons! I picked up a flat of them when I was last down south in the GTA.
Lunch - Mussels and Carrots
This dish is made with President's Choice PEI Mussels in Provencale Sauce. The way I make it is to prepare the carrots, and then put them in the bottom of the saucepan with the frozen mussels poured over top. I follow the cooking instructions on the label, except it takes a bit longer for the carrots to become soft and the mussels to open. It's an easy, one-pot meal!
I don't eat a great deal of packaged food, so posting this one served as a great prompt to check into the current regulations.
Health Canada requires manufacturers to list common allergens in plain language on their labels, including gluten sources. This information does not, however, pertain to the circumstances in which the food was prepared, which could include cross-contamination (more information here).
You can contact Presidents Choice by phone, provide them with specific information off of your package of food (bar code number, lot number, and expiration date), and they will tell you whether or not that product is gluten-free. I called today, and they told me that if the product says it 'may contain gluten' then it is possible that the product was made on a line that processed gluten at another time.
In general, if a product is declared gluten-free it must contain less than 20 ppm.
I used a hand spiralizer on the carrots, like this one. (I've included a picture of some zucchini I had spiralized below, including the size of the leftover pieces.
Dinner - Tortillas and Beans
I found this amazing recipe here.
I've been toying with the idea of buying a tortilla press for years, and finally someone bought one for me! I think it might have been this exact press.
I started out using parchment or waxed paper between the press and the tortillas, but I quickly switched to just oiling the press well, which works just fine. After you've made the tortillas, you can put whatever you'd like on them! Here, I used black beans, red onions, olives, guacamole, and some dressing. They don't hold together spectacularly, but they're decent!
Added Bonus - Coconut Bacon
If you've never tried it, coconut bacon is absolutely delicious. I used this recipe, which was quite easy. Making this led to me discover liquid smoke, which is pretty amazing. Here's some interesting information regarding any possible negative health effects of liquid smoke, in case you were wondering. I just put a focus on using it in moderation.
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!