I recently had a reader ask me if I avoid nuts because I consider them unhealthy and/or inflammatory. To answer the question, I don't eat nuts because I am intolerant of them and/or allergic to them. I have noticed immediate, and more long-term, negative effects from eating nuts. I often see patients reacting to nuts, but I think it is because of their molecular structure, not that they are inherently inflammatory. It is generally best to eat nuts raw, unless you have an allergy to them that resolves once they are roasted (this changes the molecular structure). I recommend limiting peanuts, though, as they are actually inflammatory. People always freak out when I suggest that, "but, I LOVE my peanut butter!" It's ok, keep enjoying your peanut butter, just pick up a peanut butter that doesn't contain a bunch of unhealthy ingredients and try other nut butters, they're delicious! Hope that helps.
Breakfast - Cauliflower, Radish, and Zucchini Hash
I fried the veggies in a ceramic frying pan with a bit of oil over a medium heat, and then topped it with black pepper and hemp hearts. I feel so much better when I eat a breakfast that includes vegetables!
Lunch - Bean Stew
I took this to work in my Thermos.
-Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Soup Mix
-one rutabaga, peeled and diced
-one bunch of celery, sliced
-leftover roast beef, diced
-dried oregano, about two tablespoons
-Put the beans in a slow-coooker. Add enough water to cover the beans with a few extra centimeters of water on top. Cook them for two hours on high, add the rest of the ingredients, and then approximately six hours on low. I don't have this whole cooking beans in a slow cooker thing down to an exact science yet, so leave an extra hour or two at the end, just in case the beans aren't quite soft enough.
Dinner - Sweet Potato and Shiitake Packets
This is the first time I've tried roasting in parchment paper, and I've fallen in love with the technique! It's fast, virtually oil free, and easy to clean up! I got the recipe for this dish from the magazine Vegetarian Times.
I altered the recipe in the following manner:
-I only used one sweet potato
-I used a whole head of swiss chard
-I only used about a cup of sliced mushrooms
-I left out the cheese
(photo below is the wrapped food before baking)
Welcome back to What I Eat! I'm sorry for not posting last week, cold and flu season has hit this naturopath particularly hard.
Breakfast - Apple Crisp
I slice enough apples to fill the bottom of a pyrex pie dish, leaving the skins on. I mix together gluten free oats (approx. 1 1/2 cups), brown rice flour (approx. 1/2 cup), cinnamon (approx. 2 tbsp), oil (approx. 3 tbsp.), and maple syrup (to taste) and push it down on top of the apples. I bake for approximately 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Warning - I really like cinnamon, you might not want to use at much.
Lunch - Mushroom Risotto
This is not technically a risotto, but it's pretty close (and delicious)!
-two 8 oz. packages of whole mini bella musrooms, finely chopped (they were on sale at the grocery store
-one whole package of organic celery, finely chopped
-one cup of brown rice
-one cooking onion, finely chopped
-two cups of water
-I cooked this dish in a stainless steel saucepan. Cook the mushrooms and onion in as little oil as possible, at a medium heat, until they start to release liquid. Add the celery, and cook for about five minutes more. Add the water and rice, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the rice is done.
Dinner - Pumpkin Curry
I had an amazing pumpkin curry years ago in Rajasthan, India, and I've never been able to forget it. I'm always excited when fall comes because I can make fresh pumpkin curry, it's one of my favourite things. I'm not going to lie, though, preparing the pumpkin is hard work.
-one medium-sized pie pumpkin, skin and seeds removed, cut into chunks
-one can of good-quality coconut milk (sometimes the cheaper ones are quite thin)
-one cup of rice milk (or any other kind of milk you have in your fridge)
-two bell peppers, chopped (I used red and orange)
-curry powder, to taste (start with approximately 3 tsp.)
-one inch piece of ginger (skin removed), minced
-one onion, minced
-Cook the onion and ginger at a medium low heat in a bit of oil until they start to become translucent. Add the pumpkin pieces and the curry powder, and cook for about five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the rest of coconut milk, rice milk, and peppers and bring to a boil. Do not boil for long, coconut milk doesn't like it! Reduce heat and simmer until the pumpkin and peppers are soft. Top with hemp hearts, include tofu in the dish, and/or serve on brown rice.
Don't throw them away! Put them in a strainer basket and run warm water on them, you'll be able to easily remove the pumpkin flesh with your hands. Add a bit of oil and salt, spread out in a pyrex baking dish, and bake at about 375 degrees until they just start to brown. These are absolutely delicious, but I find they don't keep well.
Snack - A Big Cookie
I picked up this cookie at the Opera Bakery Cafe, which brings in products like this from a place called Wheat Free Delights in Huntsville.
In case you can't read the ingredients, this cookie was made with quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, ground flax, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, Earth Balance butter, molasses, vanilla, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, dates, and brown rice syrup. This is a pretty impressive ingredients list. Except for the fact that the xanthan gum may have been derived from corn, and the Earth Balance butter has flavour derived from corn, this cookie is corn-free. It is also nut, egg, potato, and gluten free! This is pretty advanced baking, and it was a very yummy cookie too.
I'll let you in on a little secret - my breakfast, lunch, and dinner in each week's post aren't always from the same day. You guys knew that, though, right? ;) This is how today's post accidentally ended up being all about fish!
Breakfast - Potato Hash
This hash was made by frying up an onion, a couple potatoes, and an orange bell pepper; and then topping them with chopped cilantro, chopped avocado, and Daiya 'cheese.'
I picked up Daiya's pepperjack flavour because it was the only one Sobey's had in stock. I definitely don't care for their cheddar or pepperjack flavours, only the mozzarella, which is really good!
Lunch - Mediterranean Plate
-dolmas (stuffed vine leaves, pictured below, purchased at Sobey's)
-organic Kalmata olives
-gluten free toast with a spread of mashed sardines
I can't guarantee that dolmas are gluten-free, they are something I occasionally take a risk on. They're always packaged overseas with a mysterious 'spices' listed on the label. I've never had any problem digesting them.
I've struggled with eating sardines for a while now, particularly opening up a tin and seeing all the tails and fins of the fish intact. However, I also struggle with some of the issues surrounding eating seafood, such depletion of ocean stocks and heavy metal toxicity. Eating sardines is definitely the way to go. I went down a rabbit hole researching sardines for this post, here are some of my results:
This is an aquarium that combines research about sustainable fishing and nutritional content, and recommends which kind of fish to buy:
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_health.aspx One of their top choices is Pacific sardines. It definitely isn't a good idea to buy farmed fish, if you want to learn more about fish farming check out this link.
This is a great blog post that describes some of the history of sardine fishing, which it seems is quite sustainable:
Even though the U.S. Pacific sardine fishery is strongly recommend, I'm also leaning towards purchasing sardines produced right here on our east coast:
So....I encourage you, like me, to find a way to make those sardines palatable! For me, spreading them on toast seems to be the ticket.
Dinner - Fish Chowder
-one eggplant, chopped
-one large red onion, chopped
-one yellow, orange, and red bell pepper, chopped
-one large tomato, chopped
-one package of frozen fish, thawed enough to break apart
-Old Bay Seasoning, to taste
-enough water to cover the bottom half of the pan
Combine all ingredients in a large pan, I used cast iron. Bring to a boil, and then simmer until the fish is cooked through and the vegetables are soft. I add the seasoning at the end.
Old Bay Seasoning was not available in Canada the last time I checked, though it is easy to find in American supermarkets. A huge part of its flavour comes from celery salt, so it should be fairly easy to replicate. The listed ingredients are celery salt (salt, celery seed), spices (including red pepper and black pepper), and paprika. When I researched, and purchased, my Old Bay it was gluten-free, but that was a few years ago.
I usually buy frozen fish for the following reasons:
-it's often cheaper
-it's often fresher
-I can choose wild fish (as opposed to farmed)
-I usually keep some in my freezer, and then it's handy when I need it
I get a lot of compliments on this dish when I serve it, despite the fact that it isn't extremely visually appealing.
The week kind of got away from me, so this week's post is short and sweet. Enjoy!
Breakfast - Flax Cereal with Berries
Enjoy Life/Perky's Crunchy Flax Cereal, with vanilla flax milk and organic blueberries. I don't eat processed breakfast cereal very often, so I store it in a glass jar to keep it fresh.
Lunch - Lemony Lentils
Thanks to my friend Jessie for serving me this delicious and simple dish! It only has three ingredients - brown or green lentils, shredded carrots (rainbow carrots in this picture), and lemon juice.
Dinner - Cabbage, Rapini, Tofu, and Rice
Cabbage - I boiled chopped red cabbage and chopped organic apples in just enough water to cook the cabbage, and then evaporate when it was done (I'm guessing about two centimeters of water in the bottom of the pan). I dumped cayenne pepper (approx. two teaspoons) and apple cider vinegar (approx. two tablespoons) on top once the cabbage was soft, and mixed it thoroughly.
Rapini - I cooked a few cloves of sliced garlic and chopped rapini in just enough water to cook the rapini, and then evaporate when it was done (I also had a bit of oil in the bottom of the pan). If you've never tried rapini, do it! It has a wonderful unique, and strong, taste.
(note - I often cook vegetables in water in my cast iron pans, one of which I was thrilled to inherit from my grandmother. They distribute the heat very evenly, and add a little bit of iron to the dish. If the pan is well cured, you can get away with this kind of cooking without oil. I prefer this method to steaming because I'm not losing any nutrients with discarded water.)
Tofu - I sliced firm tofu into cubes, covered it in Amazing Dad's BBQ Sauce (purchased at Sobey's) and roasted it in the oven at about 350 degrees. I served this over brown basmati rice. Ideally I would be eating tempeh (the less processed version of tofu, available at health foods stores) but I often find it disagrees with my stomach.
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!