Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nourishing & Gluten Free Meal Planning

I'm currently reading Ramiel Nagel's book "Cure Tooth Decay - Heal & Prevent Cavities with Nutrition". It's really a no non-sense book and I am very impressed with it. My teeth have paid the price of several years of hidden gluten intolerance, refined flours and sugar (my hypoglycemia didn't help).
Now I'm focusing on healing my teeth (and my body) with nutrition, especially since the last 2-3 months. And believe it on not but my teeth are already doing better. My front teeth were almost transparent due to demineralization/enamel loss and now they are almost completely opaque. I still experience some gum sensitivity (especially since I've had dental work done on my teeth) but I believe it is improving too.
I also decided to cut on natural sugars, keeping them to a minimum and I feel much better. My liver isn't cranky anymore. I was worried that my hypoglycemia would strike back but it isn't the case. I don't even crave chocolate or desserts anymore. I used to have tea with honey several times a day, now I've replaced honey with coconut sugar (except at night). I try to have nourishing and satisfiying meal so that I don't feel hungry or crave anything later.
When I need a snack I usually go for one or more of the followings: yogurt, fruits/berries, nuts/seeds, unsweetened applesauce, nut/seed milk.
I've also increased my protein and fat intakes but don't do/feel well with large amounts of those.

Here's my Nourishing Meal Planning for the Week:

MONDAY
Breakfast: Coconut flour & blue cornmeal bread (adapted from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife) with yogurt and berries
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: Vegetable quiche
>Freeze leftover cornbread for later
>Soak Scottish oats overnight
>Soak sunflower seeds overnight

TUESDAY
Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal with raw milk and berries
Dinner: SCD shepherd's pie with mashed cauliflower, sweet potato or butternut squash crust
>Thaw ground lamb
>Make sunflower seed milk
>Make almond flour crackers
>Soak raw buckwheat groats & wild rice overnight

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast: Overnight buckwheat & wild rice pancakes
Dinner: Rustic coconut flour pizza or almond flour pizza with salad
>Freeze leftover pancakes for later
>Soak muesli overnight with yogurt

THURSDAY
Breakfast: Overnight muesli with yogurt, fruits and nuts
Dinner: Grain free zucchini beef lasagna (adapted from "Healing Foods" by Sandra Ramacher)
>Thaw ground beef

FRIDAY
Breakfast: Smoothie with yogurt or nut/seed milk
Dinner: Quinoa & rice blend with grilled fish & sauteed vegetables
>Soak quinoa and brown rice
>Thaw fish

SATURDAY
Breakfast: Quick paleo pancakes with matsoni yogurt and berries
Lunch: Omelet with vegetables & raw cheese
Dinner: TBD
>Soak Scottish oats overnight
>Soak almonds overnight
>Freeze leftover pancakes for later

SUNDAY
Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal with raw/nut milk and fruits
Lunch: Bean burgers (adapted from "Healing Foods" by Sandra Ramacher)
Dinner: TBD
>Prepare and freeze bean burgers for later use
>Make almond milk

Other nourishing foods to prepare throughout the week include:
-Homemade matsoni yogurt with raw milk
-Nut/seed milks
-Nourishing herbal infusions
-Beef broth
-Nut & GF grain flours
-Coconut flour bread (from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nourishing Gluten Free Meal Planning

MONDAY
Breakfast: SCD Hot Cereal
Dinner: Vegetable/green quiche
>Make almond milk
>Bake tahini breakfast crunchies
>Soak Scottish oats overnight

TUESDAY
Breakfast: Soaked oatmeal with almond milk, peaches & blueberries
Dinner: SCD rustic pizza with mushrooms and squash soup (with homemade lamb broth)
>Bake carrot muffins
>Prepare nourishing herbal infusion

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast: carrot muffins with coconut flour + yogurt
Dinner: rice blend with cider braised chicken (from "Apple Cookbook" by Olwen Woodier)
>Soak a blend of brown rice and wild rice
>Thaw chicken drumsticks
>Soak nuts/seeds overnight

THURSDAY
Breakfast: Cream of buckwheat
Dinner: Fish & veggies "en papillotte" (baked in greaseproof paper) with leftover rice
>Make nut/seed milk
>Thaw fish

FRIDAY
Breakfast: Smoothie with yogurt or nut milk
Dinner: TBD

SATURDAY
Breakfast: Dan's SCD/grain free pancakes
Lunch: Omelet with vegetables
Dinner: TBD
>Soak muesli overnight with yogurt
>Freeze leftover pancakes for later

SUNDAY
Breakfast: Overnight muesli with yogurt, fruits and nuts
Lunch: Homemade burgers
Dinner: TBD



Friday, May 15, 2009

SPRING

"East Wind, all that you are -
Season of springtime, house of yellow warmth, dawning of day, home of the sunrise fires.
Dwelling place of the eagle and the hawk.
Guardian of the infants.
Place of new beginnings, fresh dreams, and rising sap,
The planting of seeds, and the birth of young.
Guide use through this time of rekindled hope and freshening light.
Help us to find the dreams and tasks that our ours for the coming year
And to balance ourselves carefully between focus and flexibility.
Show us how to move your unbridled creative energy through our hearts and bodies
As surely as the deer move through labor and birth,
As phlox opens to its flowering.
Keep us steeped in our wildness for at least one season
So that our dreams are not domesticated or restrained.
East Wind, blow through us. Bring us your blessings and your wisdom."

From "Why Buffalo Dance - Animal and Wilderness Meditations through the Seasons" by Susan Chernak McElroy

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Teachings from the Birds

I have a lot of birds coming to my porch to feed and rest; mainly house finches and mourning doves. The doves are elegant, shy and zen masters when they don't get scared.
The finches are hyperactive and quite noisy at times but they're fun to watch and they are good company ;).

I've spent some time watching the finches, they are very social birds. Their mating ritual is very cute: the fluffy female whistles and shake her plumage to get the male's attention and to be fed by him.

I have also noticed that these birds truly care for each other whether they are related or not. A handicapped or sick bird will be helped, watched over and even fed by another bird. I've seen it happen today again: there was a female finch on the porch that seemed sick and/or tired. She stayed there for a while, leaning on her right side. Then I saw a male expressing some concern (he had already a mate) : he looked at her and fed her a few times (and this was no mating ritual) before he left.

I was worried about this little female too, wondering if I should come out and try to help her. Thankfully, after a little while, she managed to feed and drink then explored the porch a little and took off.

This shows that birds (and other animals as well) are socially organized, interact will intelligence (they are not genetically predisposed to act a certain way unlike what my philosophy teacher used to say...that man obviously never had a pet) and communicate in many ways probably beyond our understanding (I suspect some form of telepathy and a common consciousness).

I believe animals know more about being human (and humane) then we do...WE are the animals, the savages!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mondays in the Kitchen...

Summer is already here.
At the Farmers Market, you can already find the first Summer fruits: strawberries, cherries even melons! I will have a little longer for peaches and figs.
One of my goals is to learn more about preserving techniques (including lacto-fermentation) to be able to make my own preserves and enjoy the Summer's bounty even during Winter time.
I am pretty much done with Summer planting in the kitchen garden (all my pots are taken).
We should have some greens (including New Zealand Spinach which thrives on heat), a few vegetables (heirloom tomatoes, blue jade corn - it's the first time I grow corn!), berries (raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants and alpine strawberries), fruits (figs - maybe later in the season, sweet lemons and Minnesota midget cantaloupes - also my first time growing melons) as well as herbs (culinary & medicinal) and a few flowers.
I hope to have a decent harvest so that I can depend a little less on the Farmers Market (which offers better quality and usually better deals than the grocery store).

Anyway, here's my Gluten Free Meal Planning for the Week:

MONDAY
Breakfast: Soaked muesli with yogurt, fruits and nuts
Dinner: Vegetable quiche
>Bake coconut flour bread, slice and freeze for later
>Soak sunflower seeds overnight

TUESDAY
Breakfast: (Green) Smoothie
Dinner: Sauteed rice and veggies with veal scallopinis
>In the morning: bake "Mock" Oatmeal Cookies with soaked sunflower seeds ("Mother Necessity - Gluten Free/Casein Free Recipes" by Cristin Fergus)
>Bake blueberry muffins with coconut flour ("Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife)

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast: Blueberry coconut muffins with yogurt
Dinner: Polenta lasagna with salad greens

THURSDAY
Breakfast: "Mock" oatmeal cookie granola with yogurt and fruits
Dinner: Rustic SCD or cauliflower pizza
>Prepare avocado pudding
>Make filmjolk yogurt

FRIDAY
Breakfast: Coconut flour bread with jam and yogurt
Dinner: Steaks with rice pasta and homemade tomato sauce
>Soak raw buckwheat groats overnight

SATURDAY
Breakfast: Overnight buckwheat pancakes (blender batter)
Lunch: Omelet with salad
Dinner: TBD
>Freeze leftover pancakes
>Soak muesli overnight with yogurt
>Prepare coconut griddle cakes

SUNDAY
Breakfast: Soaked muesli with yogurt, "mock" oatmeal cookie granola and fruits
Lunch: Homemade burgers with coconut griddle cakes (paleo buns)
Dinner: TBD

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wild Blackberry in Bloom

This is the Himalayan blackberry (very common around here), easy to recognize with its beautiful purple canes ;). The brambles are just starting to bloom.
I'm looking forward to our first blackberry harvest in July...These berries are so sweet and juicy, and what a great medicinal plant!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Gluten Free Meal Planning

MONDAY
Breakfast: leftover coconut-quinoa pancakes with homemade yogurt and fruit
Dinner: oven roasted root vegetables with veal scallopinis and salad greens

>Bake, slice and freeze GF quinoa bread
>Bake breakfast crunchies
>Prepare paleo apple sorbet
>Thaw pumpkin puree

TUESDAY
Breakfast: pumpkin smoothie (with homemade matsoni yogurt)
Dinner: vegetable quiche and/or soup

>Prepare hibiscus ice tea
>Bake GF crispy ginger cookies with coconut sugar
>Prepare filmjolk yogurt
>Soak scottish oats* overnight

WEDNESDAY
Breakfast: soaked scottish oatmeal* with blueberries and coconut milk
Dinner: shepherd's pie with cauliflower or sweet potato crust

>Prepare soaked muesli overnight

THURSDAY
Breakfast: soaked muesli with fruits and nuts
Dinner: SCD/paleo rustic pizza with mushrooms

>Make sesame milk
>Bake cherry clafoutis

FRIDAY
Breakfast: cherry clafoutis with homemade yogurt
Dinner: TBD

>Thaw pumpkin puree
>Prepare pumpkin pancake batter with almond flour

SATURDAY
Breakfast: paleo pumpkin pancakes
Lunch: omelette and/or salad
Dinner: TBD

>Freeze leftover pancakes

SUNDAY
Breakfast: TBD
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: TBD

*Note that Bob's Red Mill Scottish oats aren't certified gluten free but I tolerate them.

Mondays in the Kitchen...

I don't usually have much time for cooking and baking during the weekend. So I end up doing my cooking on Monday: essentials for the week, planning of meals, how to use and preserve fresh produce before they go bad, what do do with leftovers, yogurts, broths, soups...etc

Since I know this is going to be a warm week and I have half a jug of organic apple juice in the fridge, I figured it was a good time to prepare a paleo apple sorbet (see the "Apple Ice Kreme" recipe).

I also baked some breakfast crunchies, since we don't buy commercial cereals anymore. I don't miss them but my husband does. And they make a quick, convenient breakfast with a little raw/nut milk + fresh & dried fruits. I also use these crunchies in trail mixes and as snacks.

I also enjoy having a slice or two of GF bread (see Bread on a Gluten Free Diet for recipes). This time I tried a different recipe: Quinoa Cornbread with soaked/sprouted quinoa. I usually freeze slices for later use.

I bought some cherries at the farmers market (the first cherries of the season) and they will probably end up in a clafoutis...I used to bake all sorts of clafoutis in France and before becoming gluten intolerant. It's not easy finding a decent GF clafoutis recipe, I intend to give this one a try: http://www.pattycake.ca/recipes/classiccherryclafoutis

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Lilac Oil Update

I know some of you have been wondering about my lilac infused oil.
Well, I strained it today and it has a nice yet light lilac scent.
I've been lucky to find some more lilac branches at the farmers market yesterday so I decided to re-infuse my oil with fresh lilac blossoms a second time. I expect my oil to have a stronger scent in 6 weeks from now ;).

Friday, May 01, 2009

Reasons to Give Up Grains

I haven't managed yet to go entirely grain free because I experience weakness and my hypoglycemia comes back.
But if I stick to 1 serving a day (2 servings maximum) then I'm fine.
My liver doesn't like too little nor too much carbs/sugar...It's all about fine tuning.
I eat plenty of vegetables including greens, root vegetables and squashes. I've also increased my protein and fat intakes but I don't feel well if I have these in large quantities.
I have legumes only in small quantity and properly prepared because they too are hard to digest.

Anyway, this is an interesting article:
http://nourishedkitchen.com/against-the-grain-10-reasons-to-give-up-grains/

GF Pumpkin Brownies

I love alternative cuisine! And this brownie came out great: nice texture and great taste!
I adapted this recipe from KerryAnn Foster's Peanut Butter Squash Brownies recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup raw almond butter
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raw agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder (optional but not necessary)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin or squash puree - fresh, canned or thawed (sweet potato puree may work too)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, grease a 8"x8" square pan.
In a bowl, whisk the egg with the almond butter and the agave syrup until smooth.
Then add the baking powder and the pumpkin/squash puree and mix thoroughly.
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (use a toothpick to make sure it's fully baked). Let the brownies cool a bit, then cut and enjoy ;).

Note that I'm not a big fan of baking powders: I don't think it's needed in this recipe. However if you like your brownies more airy and without the baking powder, you can separate the egg yolk from the white. Beat the egg white until fluffy and incorporate the egg white to the batter right before pouring into the pan.
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