Hello everyone! As is often the case, all of today's meals resulted from me standing in front of my open fridge (and cupboards) trying to figure out how to combine the food I found inside. These meals were all quite delicious, even though I experienced moments of doubt during their preparation. There's a metaphor for life in there somewhere.....
Breakfast - Pineapple Rice with Adzuki Beans
-one cup of brown basmati rice
-one cup of water
-one can of coconut milk
-540 ml can of crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
-dried adzuki beans (no soaking required, just boil and then simmer in water)
Bring rice, water, pineapple, and coconut milk to a boil. Simmer, covered, until rice is done. Serve with the cooked beans (most of readers will probably want to add a bit of honey or maple syrup to the beans).
Lunch - Pad Thai
-two grated zucchinis
-two peeled and grated carrots
-one finely sliced red bell pepper
-raw sunflower seeds
-Bragg Liquid Aminos
-Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai (stir-fry noodles with sauce)
When a pot of water comes to a boil, turn off the burner and add the noodles. When noodles are soft, drain them. Add noodles to vegetables, dump sauce on top, and stir.
For the sunflower seeds, I just put them in a frying pan at a higher heat with about a teaspoon of the Bragg's until they've roasted a bit and absorbed the liquid.
Obviously this dish might have been yummier with lime juice, tofu, etc. I just went with what I had, and it was delicious.
Dinner - Sweet Potato and Mango Curry
-five cups of water
-two cups of red lentils (pictured below)
-one can of coconut milk
-two medium - size sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
-one package of frozen mango, thawed and diced (liquid in package used too)
-one red onion, diced
-one heaping tablespoon of McCormick's Red Curry Powder
-one package of organic dandelion greens, rinsed and cut into halves
Start by browning the onion in a bit of oil. Add lentils, water, coconut milk, and curry powder. Stir well, add the rest of the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Once it has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and avoid stirring too much because the veggies will lose their shape.
Dessert - Carrot Cake
-1 1/4 cups oil (I used grapeseed)
-1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
-1/2 cup of brown sugar
-1/2 tsp xanthan gum
-2 tsp cinnamon
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-3 cups grated carrots
Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients. Add carrots. Put in greased pan. Cook at 350 for approx 45 minutes.
Hi everyone! It has been a very challenging week for me, so if you're a regular reader you might notice that my food choices have been a little different (I've eaten more processed carbs, non-organic vegetables trucked in from Mexico, ketchup, etc.) As I always say, this blog is called 'What I eat' not 'What I should eat.'
Breakfast - Radishes and Toast
-approximately 20 radishes, sliced
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-beet greens, rinsed and chopped
-gluten free bread (see past post regarding bread choices)
I fried the sliced radishes in a very small amount of avocado oil in my ceramic frying pan. Then, I added the beet greens and garlic. When everything was cooked through, I topped with hemp hearts.
Snack - Bean Chips and Bean Dip
Unfortunately, I can't share the bean dip recipe because I have yet to obtain permission from the cookbook authors. You can, however, find lots of yummy bean dip recipes online (this one was made with chili powder, cumin, olive oil, kidney beans, carrots, onions, and celery). Beanito chips are delicious, and corn free!
Lunch - Rutabaga Fries and Beans
Beans - I flavoured the beans (from the freezer section) with the Roasted Chili & Tamarind Club House One Step Seasoning. I didn't like this flavour, and I don't recommend buying it. I DO enjoy the Tex Mex, Greek, Garlic Plus, Cajun, and Roasted Garlic & Peppers flavours (from the same company).
Rutabaga Fries - I cut off the skin, sliced it into fry shapes, coated them in oil and about two teaspoons of smoked paprika, and baked them in a glass baking dish in a 375 degree oven. I'm guessing it was about 40 minutes, but I basically just cooked them until they were soft. They were really delicious!
Dinner - Asparagus Saute with Millet
-one bunch of fresh asparagus
-small package of fresh grape tomatoes, halved
-one can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
-two cloves of garlic, put through a garlic press
-one tsp. dried basil
I started by rinsing the asparagus and, after snapping off the bottoms, cutting the stalks into thirds. I sauteed the pieces until about halfway done, and then I added the dried basil, garlic, and tomatoes. Once the tomatoes had started to wilt, I added the beans (just to warm them up). I ate this with cooked millet that I drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
I thought I'd take a minute in today's post to talk about the Rotation Diet, which I try very hard to follow. Following a Rotation Diet means that you eat any potential problem foods only once every four days. So, for example, because I have reacted to eggs in the past, I try to eat them no more frequently than once every four days. There are a number of reasons for this approach:
1) Symptoms: If you eat something that disturbs your body it will let you know (for example, a sore stomach). However, if you continue to eat it, your reaction may become less direct and easy to interpret (for example, higher levels of general inflammation). By spacing out your consumption, you increase your chances of noticing a reaction to a food that is a problem for you.
2) Immune System: Each time your immune system is exposed to a problem food, it mounts even more of a response to it. If we use the example of a war - on day one your immune system uses guns, on day two it adds grenades, on day three it adds a tank, and on day four it just starts dropping bombs. By giving your immune system three days between exposure, it never gets beyond the gun stage. This not only reduces your reaction to current problem foods, it also reduces your chances of developing reactions to even more foods (civilian casualties).
3) Diversity: Trying to follow a four-day rotation naturally leads to eating a more diverse range of foods, which increases your chances of getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy.
I do not succeed at following this diet strictly! I just do my best. FYI, common problem foods include: soy, corn, gluten, dairy, peanuts, nuts, eggs, citrus, tropical fruits, and seafood. If you get really fancy about the Rotation Diet, you can start trying to eat entire food families only once every four days, but I don't make it that complicated for myself.
Breakfast - Hard-boiled Eggs and Organic Oranges
I don't eat much citrus, but every once in a while I'll buy a delicious bag of organic oranges from the States. Organic oranges taste so much better than conventional!
Lunch - Salmon Salad
-organic baby kale (new at Dollar's!)
-half a can of salmon
-Renee's Poppy Seed Dressing
Kale is one of the dirty dozen, so it's nice to see more organic options! [More into here]
Dinner - Spaghetti
-can of artichoke hearts, sliced
-small can of tomato paste
-apple cider (approximately 2/3 cup)
-one red onion, coarsely chopped
Just fry the onion first, and then simmer the rest of the ingredients together at a low heat until the cider reduces.
Shirataki Noodles (available at Sobey's)
I don't love these noodles, but I have a number of good friends with good taste who do, so I figured I'd better feature them at some point. These noodles are made from konnyaku (a member of the Asian yam family) and tofu. They are gluten free and low carb, which is good; however, they are still highly processed, which isn't so good. If you're going to prepare them it's important to rinse them thoroughly, boil them for at least five minutes, and then rinse them again. These noodles will make much better leftovers than rice noodles.
Dessert - Chocolate Brownie
I made this with Pamela's Chocolate Brownie Mix, which I really like because it can be made gluten, egg, and dairy- free (though they do clarify in their allergy chart that "chocolate chunks may contain traces of milk protein due to the manufacturing process")! As you can see, I add raw sunflower seeds for protein.
An Exciting Growing Season!
This spring, I'm planning on signing up for a CSA farm share and sharing the journey with all of you! For those of you who don't know, CSA stands for 'community supported agriculture.' It's an agreement between you and a local farmer that you'll give them some money at the beginning of the season, and they will share the produce they grow throughout that year (generally via a weekly delivery to a central pick-up location). It's a lot of fun, each basket/bin/box is a culinary adventure with the freshest produce you can get. I'm looking forward to showing what I receive in my CSA, how I prepare the produce, and maybe even some photos and details about the farm it comes from!
Here's the thing, if you're considering joining a CSA too, those farmers need your money now! In fact, some of them may have already sold all their shares for the season. They use the down payments to buy farm equipment, seeds, etc., and they plan their fields based on how many people they will need to feed.
According to my research, there are a number of CSA offerings in the North Bay area, including (in alphabetical order):
Dalew Farms (www.dalewfarms.ca)
Field Good Farms (www.fieldgoodfarms.ca)
Holden's Hideaway Farm (www.holdenfarm.net)
Midlothian Valley Farm (www.gypsywholefoodswarehouse.com)
Northern Harvest (http://northernharvest.info)
Sandhill Crane Farm (492-2192)
Souter Highlands Farm (info through Ontario CSA Directory)
Last but not least, here's a great map from Transition Town North Bay showing lots of local food offerings (including CSA)
Breakfast - Roasted Veggies with Avocado
I had a busy morning (and a relatively empty fridge), so I used a package of roasted potatoes, onions, zucchini, red peppers and eggplant from the freezer (pictured below), and added half of an avocado.
Lunch - Cabbage and Beans
I cut up a green Ontario cabbage into large chunks and cooked it in a bit of water at a medium-high heat (just enough water to stop the cabbage from burning, but not enough so that I had to throw any water away once the cabbage was cooked). Then I added Heinz Beans in Tomato Sauce.
Dinner - Zucchini Spaghetti With Tomato Sauce
My friend Maxine made this absolutely delicious meal for me. I was surprised by how rich and flavourful the noodles tasted! They were made from whole zucchinis using a device that creates spirals out of vegetables (picture below), and then served raw with the warm sauce on top. I'm not going to mention any specific products, but if you google some combination of 'vegetable' and 'spiral' you'll be sure to find plenty of information!
In regards to the sauce, Maxine says "I roasted fennel, carrots, artichoke hearts, onions, garlic, and tomato. Once roasted, I combined them with one can of organic tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. I put the mixture in the crockpot and let it simmer on low with seasonings until dinner time."
A note about oats - I provided some information in the last post about oats (regarding their packaging and gluten content). I'm following up today with the latest recommendations regarding oat consumption for those with Celiac Disease:
"The amounts of pure oats should be limited to 20-25 grams/day (65 ml - or 1/4 cup dry rolled oats) for children and 50 -70 grams/day (125 to 175 ml - or ½ to ¾ cup dry rolled oats) for adults, as recommended by the Canadian Celiac Association."
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!