Breakfast - Fried Plantains and Pineapple
This breakfast is pretty much the epitome of not practicing what I preach. Why? Let's see:
1) low protein
2) high(er) glycemic index/load
3) tropical fruits
4) out of season
However, it was delicious! You can buy plantains at a lot of the regular grocery stores these days; they're basically big, less sweet, bananas. You have to wait until they appear over-ripe in order to be able to easily peel and prepare them. I slice them into medallions, put them in my cast iron frying pan with a little bit of avocado oil, and leave them on each side at a medium heat until they're brown.
Lunch - Quinoa with Roasted Cauliflower
I made the quinoa with cumin and smoked paprika. I'd guess I used around two teaspoons of ground cumin and one teaspoon of smoked paprika for one cup of quinoa (and two cups of water). I cut the cauliflower into smaller pieces and roasted them in a pyrex baking dish in the oven with a small amount of avocado oil. Simple, but delicious and hearty!
Dinner - Vegetable with Quinoa Pasta
This dish was made for me, and it was delicious! Here are the general instructions. Cook one chopped onion, minced garlic, one minced hungarian pepper, and three sliced carrots in a cast iron frying pan with about a cup of broth (shown below) at a medium-high heat until it has reduced (the liquid is gone). Reduce the heat to medium and add the zucchini, and then the mushrooms. Boil noodles separately (following directions on the package, I've shown the noodles in this dish below). Combine all ingredients, top with Daiya cheese, bake for approximately 15 minutes.
I took my old SCOBY and about a third of the new SCOBY from my first batch of Kombucha and started a new batch fermenting. About five days later I filled the above bottle (which I had disinfected with bleach) with the liquid, diced fresh ginger, and a few teaspoons of honey. I sealed the top and I'm leaving it out for at least a day so that it will carbonate (this process is referred to as the 'second fermentation'). I'll let you know if, and when, I develop the courage to drink it!
Breakfast - Slow Cooker Oatmeal
I know, it doesn't look all that appetizing, but it tasted great! It was really nice to wake up to warm, smooth oatmeal in the morning. What wasn't nice was the amount of oatmeal that was wasted because it stuck to the sides of the slow cooker! For me, this has become a recipe that is great for special occasions, but is too wasteful for regular use.
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
7 cups water
4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup golden raisins
2 organic applies, cored and diced
(it turned out sweet enough, I didn't need to add any additional sweetener)
Coat inside of slow cooker with butter or oil. Add ingredients, cook on low setting for 7 hours.
Lunch - Cucumbers and Salmon
This is regular go-to lunch when I don't have a lot of time or dinner leftovers. I combined a can of wild salmon with a few tablespoons of Renee's dressing and sliced some cucumbers. That's it!
Did you know that cucumbers are one of the 'dirty dozen?' Buy them organic whenever you can! Or, even better, grow them this summer!
Dinner - Brown Rice, Veggies, and Tamari Sauce
This is an incredibly easy dinner to make! If you have some pre-made brown rice in your fridge (like I did) it will, literally, only take you five minutes to make this meal. I threw a stir-fry vegetable mix from President's Choice, which included soybeans, in my steamer basket. When the veggies were cooked, I threw them on top of the brown rice (which warmed it up) and topped it with gluten-free tamari sauce. I've left behind the Bragg's Liquid Aminos and gone back to the tamari sauce as part of my movement to include as many fermented foods in my diet as possible.
Update on my Kombucha
Here's my SCOBY, which looks a million times better than last week! That little white bit at the top is a bunch of bubbles, not mold. Now that the SCOBY is more visually appealing, the kombucha itself has gone to vinegar. So, next week I'll start up a new brew and, now that I have a slightly better feeling I'm not going to poison myself, I'll start tasting it earlier on. I drank the commercial kombucha that I showed in last week's post, and I'm definitely getting a better sense of how kombucha should taste and smell. I have admit, though, I'm finding it a significant hurdle to get past the giant sheet of bacteria and yeast at the top of the container to drink the liquid! It's really gross! I know that I am made of more bacteria than human cells, and I remain optimistic that increasing the fermented foods in my diet will bring health benefits, but it sure is challenging!
Breakfast - Sausage, Fried Potatoes, and Sprouts
The sausage came from Field Gate Organics, which I ordered through Gypsy Whole Foods Warehouse. They delivered directly to my work! I'm talking with a couple of local farmers to place some larger meat orders to store in my freezer, and I'm buying from places like Gypsy Whole Foods Warehouse in the interim.
The potatoes were sliced and fried in a cast iron frying pan.
I grew the sprouts from a bulk package of fenugreek seeds I bought at the grocery store (I think Freshco). Fenugreek sprouts are absolutely delicious!
Lunch - Coleslaw
-one half of a red cabbage, sliced into thin slices (this can be steamed or sauteed)
-one large package of bean sprouts
-apple cider vinegar (to taste)
-lime juice (to taste)
-Sambal Oelek (or some other hot sauce, to taste)
-raw pumpkin seeds
-sea salt (if you wish)
It's best to leave this salad to sit for a little while before you eat it because it should wilt and become a bit softer.
Dinner - Fish, Zucchini, and Salad
I thawed frozen cod, dredged it through white rice flour, and fried it in a cast iron frying pan. I had never done this before, and it was easy and delicious!
I sliced zucchini, added Herbes de Provence spice mixture, and sauteed the pieces in my ceramic frying pan
I combined organic baby arugula, sliced red onion, organic dried cranberries, organic sliced celery, and cubed avocado with a dressing made of olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Bad news. My ginger bug didn't survive (see last week's post for details about the ginger bug). It happily bubbled and fermented for about three days and then it suddenly stopped. I have no idea why. My top theory (based on a bunch of research) is the the water I used carried some bacteria that was hostile to the ginger bug. The ginger bug didn't smell bad or have any visible mold, it just stopped bubbling.
I'll try again, but in the interim I had a friend offer me a Scoby. 'Scoby' stands for 'symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast,' and it is used to create a fermented tea called Kombucha. I took my friend's Scoby (and some of the already fermented Kombucha that it came in) and mixed it with sugar, steeped black tea, and water. I covered the glass jar with a tea towel, around which I put a rubber band to keep out insects and unwelcome bacteria or mold. Once the tea has had around a week to brew, it starts being ready to consume. My reading tells me that you can mix the fermented tea with things like berries or ginger, seal it tightly in a bottle with a good seal, and it will become carbonated within a few days.
I've included a photo of my tea, which is now six days old (above). The funny thing is that I'm busy brewing up a blob of bacteria and yeast and I've never even tasted the final product, I'm just interested in fermentation. Towards the goal of knowing what it should taste like, I purchased a bottle of commercial kombucha (below). I haven't opened it yet......
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!