Friday, April 11, 2014

A Gluten and Dairy Free Week for Food Lovers

I've mentioned before that I love spending Saturday mornings with a coffee doing my menu planning. You know what I enjoy on Friday nights? Writing with wine. So here we go.

I'm going to share with y'all what I've been eating this week since going cold turkey on dairy and gluten for now. I hope that this will be helpful to any other food lovers who eat this way, whether by choice or necessity. I will not share the minutiae of what I put in my belly every week, I swear! This first week I was pleasantly surprised to find that I didn't cry myself to sleep for want of bread. Perhaps because I ate enough bread dipped in gravy (omg that is the best right?!?) to last me for months during Sunday dinner at my parents this past week. Anyway. Moving on.

Monday was not completely gluten-free. I was still on the fence about eliminating gluten but I felt super guilty eating toast and crackers knowing I was advised not to. 

Not included below is my morning coffee with almond milk and sugar. This is a given and a must every day. Yes, the almond milk tastes a bit different, but I still love my coffee. I also drink at least 2 cups of green tea a day at work.

Breakfast: Whole grain toast with avocado.
Snack: Smoothie with mixed berries, banana, baby spinach, cold green tea
Lunch: Carrots and red peppers with hummus, Triscut crackers, a hard-boiled egg topped with a little Miracle Whip and chopped spicy picked green beans.
Snack: Green tea. Apples with Sun Butter.
Dinner: Roast chicken with weeknight risotto (recipe below)

Breakfast: Overnight Oatmeal with almond milk, flax, mixed berries. (Oats are kind of debated whether or not they acceptable on a gluten-free diet. I'm allowing it. I'm the boss of me.)
Snack:  Smoothie with mixed berries, banana, baby spinach, cold green tea
Lunch: Leftover chicken and risotto
Snack: Apples with Sun Butter
Dinner: Quiche made with a shredded-potato crust with sausage, tomato, onion, basil. Water instead of dairy used in the egg mixture.
Snack (after boot camp): Smoothie with coconut water, ground chia seeds, cocoa powder, almond butter

Breakfast: "Breakfast salad". I was out of oats and decided I wasn't going to eat bread, so I wandered around my kitchen peeking in the fridge and cupboards until I had 5 minutes left to wolf down some food. I mixed up a chopped hard-boiled egg and avocado with kale and mixed in some balsamic dressing. This was not my best work.
Snack: Smoothie with mixed berries, banana, baby spinach, water
Lunch: Quinoa salad made with sun-dried tomatoes, avocado, red peppers, cucumber, chicken, balsamic dressing
Snack: Apples with Sun Butter
Dinner: Stir-fry with tofu and brown rice
Snack: Flourless Nut Butter Cookie with almond milk

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs topped with chopped tomato and avocado. I didn't love this. The hot egg + cold avocado and tomato wasn't my favorite. Better than the "breakfast salad" though.
Snack:  Smoothie with mixed berries, banana, baby spinach, water
Lunch: Quinoa salad same as yesterday
Snack: Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas. Dark Chocolate.
Dinner: Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes (recipe below)
Snack (after training run at the track):  Smoothie with coconut water, ground chia seeds, cocoa powder, Sun Butter. Nut butter cookie.

Breakfast: The tomato-avocado scramble improves a notch. Notably better mixing the tomato and avocado in the pan with the eggs while cooking. My next experiment will be making a salsa from the tomato and avocado and putting this on the eggs. Stay tuned.
Snack: same smoothie as every other day. And green tea. Of course.
Lunch: Salad with chicken, canellini beans, carrots, red pepper, Asian Sesame dressing
Snack: Apples with Sun Butter. Roasted chickpeas. Dark chocolate. A couple Starburst candies (it's Friday, ok!?!)
Dinner: ActiFry chicken wings with sweet-chili sauce, baked potato wedges, raw veggies (carrots, cucumber, snap peas). Have we talked about the T-Fal ActiFry before? I don't think so. Fantastic appliance. Read up on it. Then get one. For example, I cooked a pound of wings in it tonight, they crisped up beautifully, and I poured off almost a quarter cup of fat (potatoes cooked in schmaltz anyone?). Talk amongst yourselves.
Snack: Is red wine considered a snack? And a cookie.

Serves 4
An Amy Original 
Traditional risotto involves a lot of standing by the stove and stirring. This quick and easy version is a good alternative when you don't have the time or patience for babysitting food. Or perhaps you are actually physically babysitting a child (aka parenting). Measurements are approximate. Tweak as needed. If you are not avoiding dairy, mix in an knob of butter and some grated Parmesan cheese at the end if so inclined.
  • olive oil  
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1/2 of a 750g bag Arborio rice
  • small handful sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cups good chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, chopped small
  • fresh basil, julienned
Heat a glug of olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add rice, stir for 2 minutes. Add stock and sun-dried tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to keep at a simmer until rice is cooked through with just a bite at the center (like al dente pasta). If the pot is dry before the rice is cooked add some more stock or water. If your rice is super watery with only 5-10 minutes left of cooking, remove the lid and increase the heat a bit.

Meanwhile, heat another glug of oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, saute until golden-brown on all sides, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Mix most of zucchini (plus butter and Parm, if using) into risotto once rice is cooked. Serve with a garnish of the remaining zucchini and the fresh basil.

Serves 3
An Amy Original
It's easiest to cook the potatoes and garlic the night before and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • 1 head garlic
  • olive oil
  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 of a 540mL can of chickpeas, rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 slices bacon, sliced into lardons
  • fresh basil, julienned
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut top of garlic off to expose the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place on a baking sheet. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork. Place alongside garlic on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft all the way though when tested with a sharp knife and garlic cloves are soft and caramelized. Cool to the touch.

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully peel off skin, taking care to keep in one piece. If it doesn't peel off easily, scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place skins on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place flesh in a food processor with a glug of olive oil, chickpeas, water, salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze half of the garlic cloves out of their skins and add to sweet potato mixture. Puree until smooth. Scoop onto potato skins. Bake 20-30 minutes or until heated through.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a pan, transferring to paper towel lined plate once crisp. Serve sweet potatoes with bacon and basil sprinkled on top.

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