In a previous entry, I talked about my decision to avoid salt. I thought I would give an update and let you know that it has actually been incredibly easy! I can't believe how simple it was to just stop reaching for the salt shaker (almost all of the time). I don't know what else to say about this topic. I haven't yet reached the point where the occasional processed food seems too salty, but I expect I'll get there.
Breakfast - Fried Potatoes, Red Onions, Zucchini, and Kale with Hemp Hearts
The potatoes and zucchini came from my Field Good Farms CSA Basket. The kale came from my parents' garden. Everything else was from the grocery store. I ate this breakfast with organic ketchup.
Lunch - Pasta
-Summer Squash, sliced
-Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
-Gluten-Free Rice Noodles
Pour rice noodles into boiling water. Stir frequently at beginning of cooking process, and infrequently once you turn down the heat. Combine vegetables in a pan and cook at a medium-high heat until the liquid reduces. This dish was very simple and delicious!
Guest Chef Maxine!
This week I was lucky to have Maxine, who has been featured on 'What I Eat' before, prepare a lovely dinner for me (below, including her recipes). Thanks Maxine, you always spoil me!
Seasonal Roasted Vegetables
-Garlic (from our garden)
-Carrots (from our garden, Soggy Creek Bicycling Carrots)
-Fresh thyme (from our garden)
Toss all ingredients together, season with sea salt, and bake until desired texture is reached.
-O'Dough's Gluten-Free Bread
Purchased from The Delaney Bay Cheese Market, including a:
-12 month aged Manchego
-Served with Mary's Gone Crackers crackers and an assortment of olives.
Dessert - Bakes Apples Topped with Whipped Cream
-apples (purchased at the North Bay Farmers' Market, non-sprayed variety grown in Bonfield)
-organic pumpkin seeds-cinnamon
-organic amber maple syrup
-organic cream, whipped
Core the apples, put them in a muffin tin, and then stuff them. Add a bit of water to the maple syrup (otherwise it will crystallize), pour the mixture over the apples, and bake.
Before meeting Dielle I never would have thought to have vegetables for breakfast, but a year later and I’m hooked. This breakfast is my easy go-to. I’ll also often have a mixture of sliced avocado, fruits and veggies, or celery sticks with sunflower seed spread. Sometimes I make the smoothie at night and keep it in the fridge overnight. It turns slightly brown from the avocado but it still tastes good.
Breakfast - Fruit & Veggie Smoothie with Sweet Potato Fries
-1 Handful frozen cherries
-1 Handful blueberries
-1 Handful chopped kale
-A few pieces of cucumber
-1 Thumb size piece of ginger, chopped
Cover with half apple cider, half water. Blend til smooth. This makes about 4 large glasses.
Sweet Potato Fries: sorry I forgot to take a picture!
Dielle has featured sweet potato fries on her blog before (December 2012) but I do them slightly differently. I don’t bother cutting the potato into fries; instead I just select skinny potatoes and then cut them into 0.5 cm thick disks. I toss them with a bit of olive oil and throw them on a cookie sheet. I bake them at 400 F for 15 minutes on one side and 5-7 on the other.
Tip: When I know I have an early morning coming up, I cut the potatoes at night and keep them in the fridge covered with water. In the morning I dry them with a tea towel and coat with oil as above.
Lunch - Salmon Lettuce Wraps
-1 can of salmon
-Chopped red onion to taste
-Renee’s poppy seed dressing
-Ground black pepper
-Lettuce for wraps
Local Blueberries with Ontario peaches
My mom, sister and I picked a tonne of wild blueberries this August near my sister’s cottage in Quebec (near Ville Marie). The picking was great and the blueberries even better! I’ve also been devouring Ontario peaches while in season.
Dinner - Garden Beans with Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms, Kale Slaw and other Garden Veggies
One of my favourite things to do in the summer is to be able to make dinner mostly from the items in my garden or even my backyard. This summer my family and I picked wild chanterelle mushrooms near Hwy 533 (towards Mattawa, ON). They are lovely in a stir fry and awesome with some wild venison. Tonight we had them with garden beans…yum, yum.
-Half of a sweet onion
-2 handfuls of chopped chanterelles (washed well)
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-Herbamare, to taste
A friend introduced me to this kale slaw last summer and it has been a staple in my kitchen ever since. It’s really tasty and lasts in the fridge for days. This is a day-old slaw – the beets have already turned the carrots red.
-4 cups chopped kale
-1 large beet
-1 handful sunflower seeds
-1 handful currants
-Olive oil (~1/4 cup….I don’t actually measure)
-Red wine vinegar (~1/4 cup)
-1 tsp Dijon mustard
-1 tsp honey
-Pinch of sea salt (or to taste)
Note: Photo not to be used as an identification tool. Be sure to collect mushrooms with someone who really knows their stuff as many are non-edible and/or poisonous.
Hi Everyone! This entry is all about stocking up for the fall and winter. Whether you're pickling, canning, or freezing....there are lots of great options for making fresh, local produce last just a little bit longer.
Breakfast - Black Beans
I fried a red onion, and then added rinsed black beans from a can and pitted Kalmata olives. I try to always make my own beans, but sometimes I just don't manage the timing of soaking and cooking them. I topped it with a tomato from my CSA basket, chopped cilantro, and shredded mozzarella Daiya 'cheese.'
Lunch - Green Bean Dish
-green beans (from the North Bay Farmers' market), ends removed, cut in half, and steamed
-cherry tomatoes (from my CSA basket), halved
-avocado, in chunks
-raw pumpkin seeds
-a splash of white balsamic vinegar
Dinner - Baked Squash and Rice
The rice dish was made by cooking red lentils and rice (2:1 mix with water:beans/lentils, boil, then simmer until water is absorbed). I caramelized two chopped red onions ( I just left them in my cast iron frying pan at a medium heat until they started to brown, stirring occasionally) and placed a layer of them in the bottom of a one-cup measuring cup. I then packed the rice/lentil mixture over top of the onions and turned it over on the plate (I've been watching some cooking shows lately, so I decided to get fancy).
I washed the Red Kambocha squash carefully, cut it in half, removed the seeds, and placed it with the skin up in an oiled glass baking pan and baked it in a 375 degree oven until it was soft when I touched the skin. Unfortunately, this squash was slightly overcooked. You can eat the skin, and it's delicious, but usually it doesn't separate from the flesh of the squash quite as much as this photo. I sliced the squash and drizzled it with a raspberry vinegar.
Stocking up for the winter
I like to buy local gourds when they are available at the farmers' market and the grocery store (instead of buying them imported from Mexico in the deep of winter). If you're going to do this, be gentle with them! Last year, I was biking home from the farmers' market with a basket full of gourds and my basket broke, spilling them all over the street. They all went bad. As you can imagine, I was very sad. Treated gently, they'll keep for months.
Pictured above are baking pumpkins (which I make curried dishes with) and the Ambercup/Red Kobocha squash used in this post's dinner. Full disclosure - I bought EVERY one of the Ontario Red Kobocha squash at Sobeys, which is the only store I've seen them in. You might have trouble finding them this year.
Dessert - Apple Pie
I found Molly B's ready to bake pie shells at Bins and Bins, and they're definitely the best gluten-free pie shell I've ever tried! I peeled and chopped four large apples, mixed them with gluten-free flour (about 2 tbsp.), lemon juice (about 1 tbsp.), cinnamon (about 3 tsp.), nutmeg (about 1 tsp.), and brown sugar (about 1/2 cup) and then followed the instructions on the box for baking time(s). I reached into the oven about halfway through the baking process and pushed the apples down so that they made a more compact pie. I peeled the apples both because they weren't organic (more pesticides in the skin) and because I was serving the pie to kids (who can be fussy about fruit peels).
I've been getting so many cucumbers in my CSA basket, I decided to pickle a few. It's super easy. Just made sure sliced cucumber has good contact with vinegar and dill.
I washed, sliced, and packaged peaches to be frozen and eaten during the winter. Freezing them in plastic isn't ideal, but I ran out of freezer space AND mason jars (see this post regarding freezing fruit).
I used this recipe (reducing the sugar significantly), though I didn't actually can the relish. A friend of mine made it, and it tasted really good, so I decided to make some for myself. In retrospect, this was a bad idea, even though it IS delicious. I got caught up eating yummy, local corn, but I really only can tolerate so much of it. I'll make sure to eat it only once every four days (see this day's entry regarding rotation of foods), and try to give plenty away.
(photo above - corn relish in the making)
Hi Everyone! I'm back from vacation, and excited to spend more time in the kitchen learning new things, and sharing them with you! In the coming months, I want to learn more about sprouting (beans, lentils, grains, etc.) and fermentation. Keep on checking in, and we'll learn together.
Here's a picture of my latest CSA Basket from Field Good Farms, including:
-1 head of lettuce (which I exchanged for another zucchini)
-5 cucumbers of various sorts
-1 patty-pan squash
-0.75 quarts of beans
-1 pint of tomatoes
-1 head of fennel
-1 pint of potatoes
-1 sweet pepper
I have absolutely NO idea what to do with fennel, but I'm going to figure it out and post it next week!
Also, my family and I picked up local garlic....enough to last the winter.
Breakfast - Coconut Yogurt and (two) Ontario Nectarines
Lunch - Steamed Green Beans, Pickled Beets, and Fried Potatoes
For the potatoes, I combined ingredients from my CSA basket that had gone unused in a frying pan with a bit of oil, topped with hemp hearts:
-thinly sliced potatoes
-green onions, chopped
-garlic scapes, chopped
It was A LOT of work cleaning and chopping all those tiny veggies, but it was an extremely tasty dish.
Dinner - Leek and Lentil Soup
Thanks to my Mom for preparing this delicious meal (and sharing the recipe, in her words, below)!
-leeks, rinsed thoroughly, chopped finely
-carrots, scrubbed and diced or coined
-summer squash (zucchini, yellow zucchini, or crook-necked), chopped to bite-size
-italian parsley, chopped finely
-thyme, pull leaves off stems
-drippings from chicken roast (or vegetable broth)
1) Wash leeks, being sure no soil remains between layers. To do this, first halve the leeks vertically, and rinse between each layer. (I used young leeks, thinned from the garden). Chop very finely. Cover the leeks with 1-2 inches of water in a large soup pot. Bring to boil and simmer 30 minutes, covered. This makes a lovely stock without pureeing.
2. Rinse lentils and prepare as directed. I simmered the green lentils 45 minutes in a tightly covered pot, with a little more than 2:1, water to lentils.
3. Add chopped carrots to the leeks. Return to a boil, and then simmer, covered, 10 minutes.
4. Add the dripping or vegetable broth, and return to a boil. Then add onions, celery, squash, parsley, and thyme. Bring all to a boil, cover, and simmer until vegetables are desired softness.
5. When lentils are soft, drain if desired (I didn't), and add the lentils to the pot of vegetables. Stir. Season to taste. I added no seasonings except what was in the roast drippings. My guests wanted a low-salt meal, also (that's me!). The flavour of the soup was delicious and delicate, good with white wine, fresh fruit, cucumbers, crackers, and sunflower seed butter.
Dessert - Ontario Plums
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!