Breakfast - My favourite plate! I had a fried egg with Daiya 'cheese', an organic pear, half an avocado, and a piece of toast.
Lunch - Tom Kha Gai. The photo doesn't do this dish justice, it was just as good as any Thai restaurant I've ever eaten in! I modified this recipe in the following manner:
I put the following in a pot and let it cook for about 30 minutes at a medium temp:
-one can of coconut milk
-one can of water
-two small zucchinis, sliced into rounds
-abour six green onions, sliced into rounds
-one half of a stalk of lemongrass, sliced into rounds (I saved the rest in the freezer)
-half a jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, and then minced
-about a one inch piece of ginger, very finely minced
-one tbsp of fish sauce
Then I lowered the temperature and added:
-the juice of one lime
-a block of tofu, cubed
-a handful of rinsed and chopped cilantro
-two tbsp of brown sugar
If you can't find lemongrass, either look for the pre-packaged version in the produce section (picture below) or do without. If you use whole lemongrass, don't eat it! You shouldn't have much of a problem finding fish sauce. It isn't expensive, and ignore the TERRIBLE smell (it's a vital part of the recipe). If you can find lime leaves that's great because they taste delicious, but you can make this recipe without them. Oh, and you can serve it with brown rice if you want to.
Dinner - Black Bean Tostadas. Yellow tostada shells with guacamole (avocados, garlic squished through a garlic press, lemon/lime juice, and salt), black beans (made from scratch and mashed in the pot while still warm with fried onions, paprika, hot sauce, and ketchup), and halved cherry tomatoes. I normally include cumin with the beans, but I had run out, and it tasted just as good.
Disclaimer - Today's menu was heavy on the refined carbs and low on protein, which is unusual for me. However, this blog is called 'What I Eat,' not 'What I Should Eat' so.....here it is!
Breakfast - Muffin and a grapefruit. The muffins can be made with flax eggs. I make my muffins 'Texas size' because that's just the right size for breakfast, and it's easier. Recipe follows (ingredients in bold are essential, the rest can be interchanged with fruit, grated zucchini, other spices, nuts, seeds, etc.):
2 cups of brown rice flour (or other flours)
3 tsp of baking powder
3 tbsp brown sugar (not necessary if you have fruit in the muffins)
One tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
One tbsp vanilla extract
One cup of grated carrots
One egg (or 2 flax eggs)
One cup of water (or any kind of milk)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other oils)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Mix up dry ingredients, then add wet ingredients. Bake in lined/greased muffin tins in a 400 F oven until the tops brown (approx. 15-25 minutes).
Lunch - This soup was made by combining vegetable stock with a baked hubbard squash (skin removed), fried onion, curry powder, and sea salt. I ate this soup with sunflower seeds (for protein).
Dinner - Pizza! I made my pizza crust with a mix that I picked up at Winners. Winners has a large gluten-free selection (see photo below). It's better to shop there for brands that aren't available elsewhere because their pricing isn't always all that competitive. I topped this pizza with tomato sauce (which I mix with hot sauce and herbs), diced olives, diced red onions, diced zucchini, diced mushrooms, and Daiya shredded mozzarella. As you can see, I bake my pizza in a glass baking dish, which I find works quite well. Oh, I also leave this crust to rise for a ridiculously short period of time.... I've got better things to do than sit around waiting for a crust to rise ;) [I do make my own delicious pizza crust, which I'll put in a future post.]
Breakfast - Coconut yogurt (package pictured below), organic strawberries (thawed from the freezer section), granola, and hemp hearts. The granola comes from a fantastic company called 'Enjoy Life' that makes all their products without wheat, gluten, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, mustard, sulfites, eggs, soy, sesame, or fish. Hemp hearts are a great balanced protein source (don't forget to store the package in the freezer once you've opened it to limit oxidization). This breakfast is a little on the processed/expensive side for me, but it's nice to have a treat every once in a while!
This yogurt is really delicious, but I've been told that almond yogurt is even better!
Lunch - Italian stir-fry made with organic cauliflower, red pepper, onion, pine nuts, and organic celery (otherwise known as the veggies that were about to go bad in my fridge) seasoned with the 'Herbs de Provence' spice mixture from McCormick.
Dinner - Sweet potato fries, beet salad, and baked sole. I prepared the sweet potatoes by cutting them up, lightly coating them in oil, and putting them in a glass baking dish. I baked the sole in a covered pan with a spice mixture sprinkled on top. The beet salad is made with grated (peeled) beets and carrots covered with a homemade dressing.
Basic Salad Dressing Recipe - Three parts oil to one part vinegar (ex. balsamic, rice, apple cider, red/white wine, etc.). Add salt, pepper, and seasonings (ex. dried spices, roasted garlic, minced onion, fresh herbs, toasted sesame oil, Bragg Liquid Aminos, citrus juice, mustard, etc.). Some people add a small amount of sweetener to their dressing (ex. honey, maple syrup, jam, etc.). You can make a million varieties of salad dressing, and they taste better than store-bought! Also your homemade dressing won't contain preservatives, chemicals, heavily processed sugars, food colouring, artificial flavours, cheap food oils, or a ridiculous amount of salt (I hope).
Gluten-Free Choices - I had a patient suggest that I give some hints about what gluten-free products I would recommend. I can generally suggest the following:
1) Bread is best purchased out of the freezer section, and toasted before eating
Here is my list of gluten-free breads in order of taste preference (leaving aside the issue of which breads are healthier and/or free of other allergens):
Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread
Glutino Flax Seed Bread
Genius by Glutino Multigrain Bread
El Peto Brown Sandwich Bread
Metro also makes/sells a loaf of gluten-free french bread that tastes pretty good with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but I'm fairly certain it would survive the apocalypse unscathed (if food doesn't go bad, we have to wonder if it is really 'food'?).
President's Choice just started selling a gluten-free bread in their bakery section, and it's pretty good. It's like the Wonderbread of gluten-free breads.
2) It's very easy to find brown-rice noodles these days. They taste great when they're first cooked, but they do not make great leftovers. I'll give more tips about noodles in a future post.
3) Don't try to recreate everything you used to eat, instead try to embrace the direction you're heading in. Your days of eating flaky croissants and phyllo dough are probably over. Generally, I recommend just accepting (and embracing) moving away from processed carbohydrates. That said, one of the easiest, and healthiest, things to bake at home is muffins. Gluten is what holds bread together, so you can kind of look at the muffins as mini loaves of bread. I'll include my favourite muffin recipe in a future post.
Breakfast - Blueberries with my Mom's banana bread. Thanks Mom! I buy local blueberries in season, and freeze them to eat them over the winter.
Lunch - Soup made with vegetable broth, water, white kidney beans, spinach, diced onion, garlic, and dried thyme. I bring my soups and stews to work in a thermos. Last time I looked, you could find nice thermoses with stainless steel interiors at Canadian Tire. The trick to keeping the food hot is to fill the thermos with boiling (or very hot) water for a few minutes before you put the hot food in.
I'm pretty good at cooking my own food, but for some reason I never seem to get around to making my own vegetable broth. Usually, I just make my soups and stews with water, but sometimes I use a prepackaged mix
Dinner - Curried chickpea dish made with chickpeas, tomato sauce, diced potatoes, onions, jalapeno pepper, and spices (a mix of curry, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon).
Tomato Sauce - I was excited to find jars of tomato sauce in North Bay (I found them at Freshco). Tomatoes, and other acidic foods, are often sold in cans with white plastic lining. That plastic lining leaches all sorts of chemicals into the food, including BPA. The Aurora jarred tomatoes contain only tomatoes and salt!
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!