This is my absolute favourite weekend breakfast! I used this recipe, with the following modifications.
You can probably make this in an incredibly well-seasoned cast iron pan, but I use a non-stick pan that I save for special occasions (because there are so many health concerns, and because the less I use it the less it sticks!). I added roasted eggplant, the fried onions, and some Daiya Mozzarella Shreds to my omelette, but you can add just about anything! Olives and fried onions works well, and also means you can cook from your pantry during a pandemic. You can get chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour in the international section of regular grocery stores, and it's cheap!
Black Beans and Cabbage with Vegan Mayonnaise
This is a great pandemic dish because all the ingredients will keep in your fridge and pantry for weeks (well, except for the cilantro, which isn't necesary)! Also, it's just one of my favourite dishes to eat, it has become a real staple meal.
I made the beans by frying two diced yellow onions until they were starting to become translucent. Then, I added three teaspoons of this Taco Seasoning, three tablespoons of this lime juice, and two small (drained and rinsed) cans of black beans. I turned down the heat, covered the pan, and left it for about ten minutes. Thanks to my friend Sarah for teaching me to add lime juice to my black beans, and thanks to my friend Karen for giving me this delicious taco seasoning as a gift! You can currently get the seasoning packets at the local products display in the corner of Metro. I'll leave it to you what kind of heat you add to this dish, and how much.
To make the cabbage dish I, first, sliced a green cabbage quite thinly. Then, I made this amazing vegan mayonnaise and mixed it in! I used this recipe, with the following modifications.
Here I am frying again. Do as I say and not as I do! ;) Frying is not ideal as your primary form of preparing foods because the high temperatures change the characteristics of the oil, and the food itself, in ways that can potentially cause harm. However, fried foods are nice to have occasionally! Additionally, I highly recommend frying in cast iron cookware, whenever possible.
I hate radishes! Specifically, raw radishes. If you don't care for raw radishes either, you still have to give fried radishes a try, they're delicious! You can also roast radishes and get the same kind of effect. One of the things I like about radishes is that they will keep in the fridge for weeks at a time, which is particularly handy when we're practicing social isolation.
I topped the radishes with hemp hearts and avocado.
Do you have trouble eating avocados at the right time? Here is my formula that works for me every time. Buy the avocados when they are very hard. Take them home and leave them out until they become just soft enough that you can feel them give slightly under your finger when you press on them. When this happens, immediately throw them in the fridge (well, don't 'throw' them, place them in there gently). If you do this right they will keep in the fridge for quite some time (at least a week)!
Sweet Potato and Sage Poutine
It's kind of funny that my web design platform, obviously based in the United States, doesn't recognize 'poutine' as a word ;)
This dish includes:
Okay, first of all, I totally realize I'm frying too much. I'm going to work on that!
Secondly, I'm going to try really hard to share how to make good food with what you have in your kitchen during a pandemic. I made this dish because the two things in my kitchen that were going to go bad next were a sweet potato and some fresh sage.
If you've never fried sage, it's absolutely delicious! I made it in my cast iron frying pan, with some olive oil. The trick is to leave it at a medium-temperature, moving it frequently, until it gets crispy, and then immediately remove it. I've included a picture of what it looks like mid-frying, because you're going to think you're doing it wrong....just give it time!
I made the sweet potato by:
Fried Fish and Steamed Broccoli with Ginger Dressing
The ginger dressing on this dish is AMAZING!!!! It tastes a little bit like the dressing you might get a on a plain salad at a sushi restaurant. Just throw the following ingredients into a blender. I used my Magic Bullet, I assume a Vitamix would work just as well.
I made the fish by thawing frozen fish and then dipping it into a mixture of cassava flour, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and then frying it in a cast iron frying pan. I'm sorry, I didn't measure, but basically you can't go wrong!
It's really hard to figure out what kind of fish to buy, isn't it? I buy frozen fish, mostly because I lived on the West Coast for ten years, and fish counters here smell like old fish to me. I always make sure what I purchase specifies that it was wild caught, and strive to find fish that was caught in a human and environmentally-sustainable manner. This is a really great tool for choosing what kind of fish to buy!
I'm a big believer in following your cravings. If you can, stand in the produce section of your grocery store, or in your kitchen, and see what you feel inspired to eat. If we can tune out the call of Doritos and chocolate bars, our body has the capacity to tell us what nutrients it wants. For a couple of years now, I haven't had a taste for broccoli. Then, the last time I went shopping, the craving came back. It was delicious!
Instant Pot Spinach Saag
This dish tastes much better than it looks! I made it in my Instant Pot. From start to finish, it took about 30 minutes.
I used this recipe, but with the following substitutions:
This recipe can easily be made vegetarian. Blocks of tofu might substitute nicely for the paneer you would get with this dish.
I'm bringing this blog back to life! Why? The number one reason is that we're all going to have a lot more free time in our kitchens, so why not! This pandemic has the silver lining of giving each of us more time to focus on self-care and healthy routines. Additionally, eating well keeps you in better health!
In the past, I've posted a breakfast, lunch, and dinner with each post. I'm going to make things easier on myself and post primarily dinners, with a few breakfasts. This is because my dinners vary far more than my breakfasts, and my lunches are almost entirely leftovers.
I put a lot of focus on breakfasts with my patients. Our culture has taught us to eat loads of gluten and dairy for breakfast, often highly processed, and it isn't doing us any favours. Instead, I encourage my patients to eat a balanced, hearty breakfast that includes vegetables and protein as soon as they are hungry. I also encourage them not to have coffee before they eat, because this suppresses the appetite and throws off the rhythm for the day. This works out extremely well for a huge portion of my patients! Results include better blood sugar control (including in one patient who produced hard data via an implanted glucose sensor), a significantly decreased urge to snack, and a much more steady mood and energy throughout the day. Want to learn more? Here is a nice article you can read.
I know a lot of you are learning about intermittent fasting these days, but in the interest of not having this post be too long, I'm going to save information on this for another time. In the interim, I challenge you to try this breakfast approach. Just like most of my patients, I'll bet you'll find you feel good doing it!
So, this breakfast includes:
What vegetables can you imagine eating for breakfast?
Breakfast - Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Avocado
I threw this breakfast together pretty quickly on a weekend morning. I've developed a technique for making sweet potato in a frying pan where I cut it into cubes, fry it for a little bit in avocado oil, add about two cups of water and boil that down, and then finish frying it in oil. They're done in about 15-20 minutes, and taste almost as good as if they were roasted. This was leftover dinosaur kale from a previous dinner.
Lunch - Falafel with Zucchini Noodles
One of my patients recommended the amazing Shine Juice Bar and Cafe in Orillia to me. I've been twice on my way down to work in Toronto, and it is a wonderful restaurant. Everything on the menu is plant-based and gluten-free (and delicious)!
Dinner - Baked Fish, Rice Noodles, and Cauliflower
I'm sorry, I always forget what kind of fish I've used when I'm writing up my blog posts. I'm 99% sure this is haddock that I purchased frozen and thawed before making this meal. When you're looking at what kind of fish to buy, I recommend using this guide. The guide was drafted in 2006, but I've done the research recently and it is still current and relevant.
Next, I KNOW this dish doesn't look amazing, but it tastes AMAZING! Here's what you do. Chop up a bunch of garlic, onion, and ginger and mix it in the bottom of a baking dish with oil (I use my cast iron frying pan). Then flip the fish a few times in the mixture and leave it on top of the chopped veggies. Put the pan into an oven at 420 degrees and bake it until the fish is done and the veggies have become translucent and started to brown. The fish stays super moist, and the flavour is really good!
Now that spring is here, who else is excited about eating a whole lot more fresh fruits and vegetables? I got the garden started this weekend, and I'm very much looking forward to visiting the Farmers' Market.
Breakfast - Fried Radishes, Grapefruit, and 'Cheese' Bread
Every once in a while I get a citrus craving that can't be ignored. I sliced up the radishes and fried them in avocado oil in my cast iron frying pan. If you're like me, and thought you hated radishes, try them fried (they're delicious)!. Details on the bread itself below, but it's got Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds melted on it.
I decided to take another crack at making my own bread. It wasn't great, and it wasn't terrible. It was VERY DENSE. I followed this recipe, except this is the flour blend that I used:
1/2 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2/3 cup of an old rice-based gluten-free flour mix I had open
2/3 cup brown rice flour
one cup sorghum flour
I may, or may not, take another crack at making bread, you can check in and see! I do try to limit my grains, but I also like the idea of making my own bread when I choose to eat it (if for no other reason than loaves of gluten-free bread are costing at least seven dollars these days!)
Lunch - Salad With 'Breaded' Tilapia
Dinner - Tahini Stir Fry
Ok, so this dish doesn't necessarily look amazing, but the tahini sauce IS AMAZING!
Tahini Sauce Ingredients (blended up in a high-speed blender):
I fried stir-fry veggies, added the sauce, put it over white jasmine rice, and topped it with chopped cilantro.
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!