Sorry for the delay in this week's post, I've gone on vacation!!!! My next post will be on Wednesday, September 4th. I'm looking forward to posting (and eating) lots of great food in the fall, along with continuing to briefly address topics like:
-genetically modified foods
-ideal oils to use for any cooking situation
Do you have a question you'd like me to answer or would you like to be a 'guest chef'? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned!
Breakfast - Sweet Potato/Beet Hash
-beets (boiled to soften, skins removed by just pressing enough they slide off, and cut into chunks)
-sweet potatoes (peeled, cut into chunks)
-red skinned potatoes (skin left on, cut into chucks)
-black beans (cooked in a slow-cooker overnight with a stick of cinnamon)
Combined in a ceramic frying pan and warmed through.
Lunch - Piebird Picnic Garden Concert!
I decided it would be fun to feature what I ate at the picnic, including:
-plentils crunchy lentil chips
-sliced pickled beets
-olives (the jar hidden behind the beets)
-hummus (store bought, a number of them are marked gluten free now)
-fava bean dip (I put fried onions, 2 tsp. cumin powder, and fava beans [cooked from scratch] into a food processor with a few tablespoons of water). I was surprised by how delicious this turned out, it was quite popular at the picnic.
Dinner - Pesto and Garden-Fresh Vegetables
The zucchinis came from my Field Good Farms CSA, the green beans came from my parents' garden, and the organic butternut squash came from the grocery store. I steamed the green beans over a stainless steel steamer basket, removed them, and then steamed the zucchini. I saved the steaming liquid for smoothies (it is very helpful for producing an acid/alkaline balance in the body). I cut the squash in half, removed the skin with a sharp knife, cut it into chunks, and cooked it in my cast iron dutch oven with a bit of water and oil.
Pesto Ingredients (mixed up in the attachment to my immersion blender, pictured above)
-one large bunch of basil (also from my CSA basket), leaves removed and rinsed
-one cup of raw sunflower seeds
-two small cloves of garlic
-1/2 cup of oil
Big Change! - I've decided to give up salt (for the most part). I came to this decision both because I noticed I was piling more salt on some of my food than everyone around me, and also because of this new study which links salt consumption with autoimmune disease (which I suffer from). This study is only initial experimentation with a mouse model of provoked autoimmunity, but I've decided to use it as my catalyst for change. Now, as you guys know, I eat very little processed food, so I'm already ahead of the game in terms of salt consumption (because that is where we get most of our salt in our diet). Still, I'm troubled by the enthusiasm with which I reach for the salt shaker (and the soy sauce), and I want to move towards enjoying foods for their inherent taste. We often crave salt because of an imbalance with our adrenal glands, but I'm confident I'm healthy enough to weather a drastic reduction in salt intake. Last but not least, it is my understanding that my palate (meaning, my taste buds) will adapt pretty quickly; I'll keep everyone in the loop about whether or not this happens. Obviously, I could have made this change without blog readers really noticing, but I think it's an important diet modification to share!
[Image courtesy of Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net]
On to my weekly vegetable delivery! This week's CSA Basket (pictured above AND below, except for the shelling peas, which I ate right away) included:
- 1.5 Quarts Beans (a mix of yellow and green)
- 1 Quart Shelling Peas
- 2 Zucchinis
- 2 Cucumbers
- 1/4 Pound Lettuce Mix (which I exchanged for an extra zucchini)
- 1 Bunch Scallions
- 1 Head of Fennel
- 1 Bunch Swiss Chard
- Basil bunches
- Beet tops
I realized I've never mentioned that what I get in my basket is only a half-share! Also my farmers produced another fun video, check it out here!
Breakfast - Fried Egg with Kale, Salsa, and Pickle
I had previously washed, chopped, and cooked the kale by putting it in the bottom of a cast iron pan with a bit of water on a medium-high heat until the kale was soft and the water had evaporated. I warmed it in a cast-iron frying pan and then added an egg, leaving it in the pan until it was cooked through. I ate this with a salsa made from chopped tomato, sliced scallions (bottoms), chopped fresh basil, and lime juice.
Peaches! - Ontario peaches are in season, and I've been eating tonnes of them!
Lunch - Fried Zucchini
Here I go frying something again! I chopped up half of a red onion and two medium sized zucchinis and fried them on a low heat in my cast-iron frying pan with a little bit of oil. Once they were almost done, I added fresh basil cut into thin strips. Last but not least, I topped this dish with a bit of Daiya shredded mozzarella 'cheese.'
Dinner - Corn on the Cob and Baked Beans
This was a simple and delicious meal! I took a trip to Leisure Farms to do some raspberry picking, and I picked up some corn on the cob while I was there. I boiled the corn, and ate it with some Heinz Baked Beans I warmed on the stove.
I neglected to take a picture of the fresh raspberries, but pictured below is how I process the raspberries I don't eat right away. I haven't yet gotten into canning, so I haven't made any raspberry jam, etc.. Instead, I just rinse the berries and push them into a wide-mouthed mason jar and freeze them. They make an excellent desert, without any noticeable freezer-burn. Just make sure that you leave enough space at the top of the jar for expansion as the berries freeze (I try to stay below the threads for the lid).
This week's CSA basket from Field Good Farms was overflowing! It included:
- 1 bunch of scallions
- 1/4 lb. lettuce mix
- 2 cucumbers
- 2 zucchini
- 1 bunch of swiss chard
- 1 quart of shelling peas (pictured above)
- small bag of tomatoes
-bunch of basil
I'm going to combine the basil and the zucchini for a pesto I'll feature next week.
Breakfast - Beets (Including Greens with Garlic) and a Muffin
The muffin came from a mix I bought at Winners. I was horrified to discover it was almost 1/2 sugar when I took it out of the box! It wasn't super delicious either. Oh well, you can't win them all.
I bought the beets at the North Bay Farmers' Market. I steamed the roots (after only removing the leaves) the night before (in a steamer basket for about 30 minutes) and then left them to cool over night. In the morning, I cut the tops and bottoms off, and peeled the skin off by hand (it should slide off very easily).
I washed the greens, cut them into strips, and sauteed them with two garlic cloves, thinly sliced, until they were soft. Beet greens are one of the most delicious vegetables in the world. I'm horrified by the fact that, when I was getting a CSA basket years and years ago, I used to throw away the greens!
Lunch - Tomato Salad
This salad was made with tomatoes and cucumbers from my CSA basket, along with sliced olives, hemp hearts, and white balsamic vinegar. Isn't it gorgeous!
Dinner - Chicken and Rice
The chicken was picked off of a whole roasted, organic chicken from the weekend. The rest of the dish was simply cooked brown rice, sliced cucumber, and a bit of Bragg Liquid Soy Seasoning.
As a side note, I've been doing some research about Bragg Liquid Soy Seasoning and I think I'm going to replace it with wheat-free Tamari Sauce, primarily because it is fermented. I'm learning more and more about how we're really missing out on fermented foods in our diet these days. Fermented foods are extremely beneficial for our bacterial flora, and can give us nutrients we aren't getting elsewhere. We all need to eat more sauerkraut! Maybe in future weeks I'll introduce everyone to the 'ginger bug.' Feel free to google it in the interim :)
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!