Monday, January 27, 2014

this week in food

No video today, but I thought I would share some highlights and then discuss meal planning and groceries.

This is the cassava pizza, it was SO GOOD. Next time I will prebake the crust, elevate it on a metal wire rack, then dress and bake again; as things went it was a little on the soggy/greasy side, which is nonetheless a nice change from crumbly and sawdusty, which is sadly how GF pizza tends to go.

Cute person with a snack platter.

tending the sauerkraut - fermentation causes the release of gases, lifting the solids and causing the bubbling you see here.

re-packed (you can see that the left jar required an extra cabbage leaf to settle).
zucchini noodles

for zucchini bolognaise

served with salad


mmm... asparagus

today's groceries

this week's menu
Kindly draw your attention to the grocery spread - if you are just starting meal planning, or gluten-free living, or having one weekly shopping day, it is very useful to get in the habit of being aware of what you go through in a week. At the forefront are the essentials, goodies at the back. Every week, normally on Monday, I buy 4 dozen eggs, 1 lb butter, 4 L milk, 2 long packages of cheese, 3-4 meat selections, 1-2 fruit selections, lots of veggies (cooking greens, such as fennel and broccoli, starches and roasters, such as potatoes, onions and carrots, and snackers/noms, such as peppers and daikon), 1 bottle of wine, 1-2 canned tomato/fish products, and a few dried goods, depending on what we need. That feeds two adults and child and any circulating company. We eat eggs most mornings, usually leftovers at lunch, and animal protein of some kind with lots of veggies for supper. Easy. Once every month or two I get other things from the bulk food store such as nuts, whole and ground, flour, oil, spices, etc. I get cassava flour, coconut bars, GF oats and other bits from the asian market or middle-eastern natural foods store as needed, every 1-3 weeks. In the summer I browse farmer's markets for the sheer pleasure of it, as well as to focus on living seasonally and to support the local economy. I spend about $150 per week on food.

What do you build your meal plan on?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week Meal Plan

This is what this week has in store for us:

Monday - Leftoverssssssss
Tuesday - Bacon and Grilled Veggie Quiche (something new, for J!)
Wednesday - Turkey/Sweet Potato chili in the slowcooker
Thursday - Chicken Fajitas with the fixins
Friday - Salmon fillet for me with steamed or sautéed veggies, rice for jj (rice is something his mom invented, basically white rice with onions/beef gravy/minced meat. No comment)
Saturday - Balsamic Pork Tenderloin with mashed white&sweet potato/carrot and Greek salad
Sunday- Supper at my maman's

Since I work later, and J's home from school earlier, he is actually going to be venturing in the kitchen much more (which I love) than he was used to, so this is a learning experience for both of us. I have a tendency to expect him to know what I know, and deliver exactly what I would deliver, so I'm really working on trying to rein that control freak side of me in. Good practice for when I become pregnant? hmm..

I'm soooo excited for my lunch this week, this salad. Plus lentil soup which I'm making tonight, based off of Julia Child's recipe, from her books that I received as a gift from J this Christmas (more on those in another post ohhhhhhh bebey). Her recipe is very similar to my grandmothers soupe aux pois, so I'm not venturing out too much.

I've noticed that in the recent weeks I've gradually cut down on the amount of carbs I make for myself in my meals. No one in my family is gluten intolerant, so to go completely gluten free wouldn't be very efor us, and I feel that its the current big fad of the culinary world at the moment.

After reading and assessing how I personally react to gluten, I've decided that the grains that I would consume would be whole and un-processed to the maximum, and that it would be limited. But I still very much enjoy a fresh loaf of bread from my oven, so I wont deny myself that pleasure. Just in moderation.

Has anyone had trouble uploading pictures? I cant seem to add anything without making the site crash -_-

Monday, January 20, 2014

kitchen monday

So after shooting I did indeed get a lot done.

I know it's blurry but look at Ambrose's fingers. Eating plantain pancakes.

My husband spent his Saturday morning preparing this before heading off for work for our date that night. Have I mentioned he's also really good-looking?

Practical Paleo, as mentioned in the video.

I used a head of green cabbage, two roasted jalepenos, an onion, a few cloves of garlic, two carrots, a few baby beets (hence the colour), and about 4 tbsp salt.

Massaged it all with the salt till liquidy, put a plate & weight on it, moved on to other projects to let it sweat.

you can see the brine starting to rise...

completed rice pudding

put into handy jars for the boys.

fat, still half frozen, ready to cut. I used this tutorial to get started.
simmering away

pizza dough - 1 c cassava flour, 1/3 to 1/2 c water (can't quite recall), 2 tsp salt, 2 eggs.

baked to lovely light bubbly perfection. why don't we hear about this more often as a paleo option?

returning to the sauerkraut - one jar packed, one in process

ooo lovely

a simple late lunch - cheddar, avocado, kolhlrabi sticks with salt.

Friday, January 17, 2014

day off

an ugly picture of beautiful cabbage.


look at that cheese

this week has been week one of my primal trial (eg no grains or legumes, otherwise business as usual).

kombucha! the thing at the forefront is a dried SCOBY to send to a friend. jars of jasmine green tea kombucha on the left, fresh citron oolong tea with sugar on the right, the SCOBY and a bit of leftover kombucha in the back, waiting for the fresh tea to cool.
and now, some older ones:

one bright day in December I was craving poutine in a bad way. We had leftover thick meat gravy from a roast, so I attempted making some GF poutine. It was okay. I don't like tapioca as a thickener or flour, I always taste it.

Christmas day, evening dessert. Roasted bananas with butter-chai sauce, then lit on fire with a little brandy, served with whipped cream. It was the best.
So yeah, primal trial, it's fun. I am going to buy plantain today for the first time ever. I bought Practical Paleo with a Christmas gift card and I am just eating it up!! Basically primal is like paleo but with dairy. So there you have it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


A couple of months before the Holidays, I made a decision (partially prompted by my awesome co-worker who I see myself as in 20 years). She explained her thought process like this:

Every time I choose to eat something, its a decision I make for either the good or the bad of my body. I can make a choice to consciously put thought into what I'm putting into myself, or I can continue to act on impulse and pollute myself. But whether or not I make good food choices, I never EVER under any circumstance think anything negative about myself or my body. If I cant be kind to myself, who else will be able to?

(Did I mention she's processed-sugar free, grain-free, and has extensively studied the effects of modern nutrition on the behavior of children under 5?)

Ah yes, we've all heard that before. But I decided it was worth trying out 100%, and I began to notice that I talk to myself in an awful manner, most especially when I eat things I know I shouldn't. I say some pretty terrible things to myself that I would never say to someone else, and even worst, I would cry if I heard one of my girls in my class say things like that about herself. So fuck it. I decided to change that pattern right away. No more bullying myself.

And it worked, rather too well, if I can say that. I changed the way I was talking to myself, and it suddenly became easier to make better food choices. I lost a lot of weight, but didn't focus on that. I didn't even tell anyone, it seemed so.. pointless. Who cares about numbers when my soul feels like its safe from itself? I felt light as air, I felt beautiful, and I felt like I could trust myself to live in love.

And then Christmas happened. And then New-Years happened. That meant a lot of parties, a lot of food and drinks, a lot of indulgence, and a lot people. People asking me: Wow Cyn, you lost a lot of weight, are you on a diet? Maybe you shouldn't be eating that then.. Or: You look a bit better, I think you lost weight! Or my favorite: Gosh you must be so happy you lost some weight, finally, Don't even think about all the rest that you need to lose, I'm behind you 100%, I wont let you gain those lbs back!

And the cycle began again. I gained back 7-8 lbs, and my fragile love foundation crumbles. The anger and meanness started back up, the food I eat declined, and wasn't even homemade anymore, just take-out, take-out, take-out. Hurting my body and my bank account with trash.

But I'm so done with that. I don't give a fuck about my weight in numbers, I'd rather concern myself with how I feel when I look at myself. How I feel when I finish a meal. God knows how much I love to cook and create, and how much having a meal with someone you love is an essential part of my day, something I look forward to all day long. Why would I rob myself of that pleasure because of other people's words? No way. So I'm done with that bullshit. My one and only resolution for 2014 is love. Love for others, always. But love for myself and my body and my choices, even more.