Today's dinner and dessert are brought to you by my latest guest chef, my Mom! My Mom is dedicated to eating locally. She's a regular at the Powassan Farmers' Market (where I took the above photo), buys local meat and eggs, and she and my Dad have a large vegetable garden. The venison from today's dinner came from a neighbor. I'm very lucky to be able to visit my parents and eat wonderful meals that cater to my restrictions, as well as being locally sourced.
In the winter, we can still find Ontario cabbage, radishes, apples, potatoes, onions, squash, etc.; and these are the best produce to eat when it's cold outside. It takes digestive fire/heat (in Ayurvedic Medicine this is known as 'agni') to digest raw foods, and in the winter your body is focused on using that heat to stay warm. If you crave a salad, go for it! However, if you don't, it isn't ideal to purchase lettuce and salad ingredients that have been shipped from far away. Focus on eating the kind of cooked vegetables you would find in a root cellar, and you're good to go!
*When you wish to eat other vegetables, the freezer section is a great place to find good quality produce in the winter.
Breakfast - Sweet Potato Stir Fry
4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tsp grape seed oil
Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Frozen package of greens (pictured below)
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
I fried the garlic, onion, and sweet potato with the oil in my ceramic frying pan at medium heat until the potato was cooked through, occasionally adding a few tablespoons of water and allowing it to evaporate. Then, I added the frozen greens and the Bragg's. After it was cooked, I added the pumpkin seeds and left them in just long enough to warm them up.
Lunch - Noodles and Veggies
I made this dish with steamed broccoli, sliced avocado, boiled edamame, sliced and toasted nori, bean noodles, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, toasted sesame oil, and hot sauce. I just dump the seasoning onto the noodles after they're cooked. If I had to guess, I'd say I used about 2 tbsp of Bragg's, 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, and a 1/2 tsp of my hot sauce.
You can can find dry bean or pea noodles in a lot of the grocery stores here in North Bay (usually in an 'ethnic food' section of the store). They don't have anything with gluten in the ingredients, but I'm always slightly wary of something shipped from overseas actually being gluten-free. Have any of my readers had a reaction to these kinds of noodles?
To cook the bean/pea noodles you simply immerse them in freshly boiled water until they become soft. They don't tend to stick together as much as rice noodles.
I buy the edamame frozen (and organic). I bring a pot of water to a boil, add the frozen edamame, and leave it to boil until they all float (this takes less than five minutes).
Last but not least, you can find packages of toasted nori (seaweed) sheets here in North Bay too. It's harder to find the pre-shredded variety, but you can just rip up the sheets. Watch out for added soy sauce (which contains wheat)! Last but not least, add the nori to the warm noodles immediately so that it softens up.
Dinner - Venison Stew
I've always wondered if you can cook dry beans in a slow cooker, and it turns out you can!
6 cups of water
1 1/2 cups dried red kidney beans
1 large choppd onion
1 1/2 cups sliced parsnips
1 cup chopped celery
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 dried, crushed, small, hot red pepper
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sliced, browned sausage (my Mom used venison)
1 small bay leaf
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
Combine everything but rice in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for eight hours. Serve bean mixture over rice.
Dessert - Pumpkin Cake with Orange Glaze
2 cups of all-purpose gluten-free flour (such as Bob's Red Mill)
1/4 cup potato flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp (gluten-free) baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup chopped candied or crystallized ginger
In a large bowl stir together flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg. Ensure you stir thoroughly (or sift) because you want the spices to mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream oil and brown sugar. Add orange juice, eggs, vanilla extract, and pumpkin puree and beat well.
Gradually beat in dry ingredients, mixing until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Spoon into oiled pan. Spread to edges and smooth top. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Bake in 350 F oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.
In a small bowl, stir together 1/8 cup arrowroot flour and 2 tsp orange juice concentrate. Stir in 1 tbsp of honey. Drizzle over cooled cake.
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!