Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Week In Food

My elimination diet has changed my relationship with food. I don't know how to totally describe it, but it is there. Part of it is my connection to the world. My garden has always been a huge connection for me. To me the garden is not just to feed my body, but my soul. To plant a seed and see it grow into food is a miracle. Growing food is to see the circle of life and our connection to the earth. I once had a talk with my mother. To her food is just fuel for the body. For me it goes deeper than that. With my elimination diet I had a much more adversarial relationship with food. It got better as more food was back into my diet, but the lingering effects are there.

And even more so, the food was poisoning me. First the nightshades a few years ago, now the legumes and mushrooms. I'm also worried about how deep my legume problem goes and the variety of food I can eat. So food has become less happy than it was. I want to eat health food, but what does that really mean for me? In the past I probably ate about 90% of my own vegetables for 10 months out of the year. March and April were often hugely supplemented from the store as the winter stores ran out, but the rest of the year I did pretty well. Now I'm doing more store bought vegetables to supplement what I have. In the past I would have felt guilty over it as I have a huge pile of produce in the fridge. That isn't to say I don't eat from my produce, but I do supplement more now.

So here is my week of eating. Above has been my breakfast each day. I make a smoothie out of fruit (mostly frozen and bought, but I did have some strawberries from the garden) and homemade almond milk. Many people add ice and sugar, but I don't dilute it (well except the almond milk) and I don't add sugar. Fruit is pretty sweet as it is. And do you notice that the smoothie is in a canning jar? Well if you don't know the trick, canning jars fit blenders very well. The lips aren't as wide, so if you do it, make sure the gasket is on correctly. But it turns any blender into the equivalent of a Magic Bullet. It makes for a lot less mess and small things are better blended than in the big blender jar.

I almost always have salads for lunch. They vary a bit. The cucumber is from the farmers market (greenhouse grown) and the carrots and dairy from the store. The rest is from my garden. I eat a side with these usually. Often cheese and some kind of cracker or bread. Though yesterday I made garlic scape pesto for the first time and had it on pasta. I wasn't impressed. I love garlic scapes done other ways, but not this way. I think it would be good combined with parsley or with basil, but by itself I think it lacks depth. I doctored it with a bit of my homemade balsamic vinaigrette and that was good.

I'm going to show you the last seven dinners I made. It is actually eight days as we usually go out to eat one day a week. Last night was King salmon. Oh it was so good. It looks boring as I used nothing but a bit of salt and olive oil, but the taste was great. It was accompanied by some sourdough bread from the farmers market. We don't often eat white bread, but we do have it occasionally as a treat. The vegetable was sauteed bok choy with garlic scapes.

Tuesday was some chicken with a Parmesan topping over saffron brown rice. I was lazy so used some of my frozen veggies up and had kale and broccoli. And I had strawberry rhubarb cobbler for dessert. I don't usually make dessert. I often have chocolate after dinner, but today I wanted something more substantial. I was hungry. And it was so, so good.

Monday we went out, but Sunday I grilled. My burger was beef (with homemade plum sauce and dill pickle relish). Joel doesn't eat beef, so he had a choice of turkey or salmon burgers. He chose turkey this time. Weirdly the bun is still gluten free. I made a batch of them and froze them before adding wheat back into my diet and we haven't used them up yet. In the past I wouldn't have grilled onions as they are bought from the store, but I LOVE grilled onions. So I made some.

I make a good for you biscuit pot pie. Or really a good for my husband since that is the point of it. When I make it, I make enough for three small two serving pies and freeze the extra filling. My husband hates veggies (well the texture, not the taste) so I puree the vegetables up. None are from the garden, carrots, celery, and onion. The herbs however are. The biscuit is half whole wehat and butter free and made from lowfat cheese (hubby's requirement not mine). The chicken and broth came from a roast chicken breast from down the list earlier in the week. I make my pot pies potato free as I can't eat them. My husband complains most of the time that they need potatoes. I agree but it isn't going to happen. The lightly boiled chard is fresh from the garden and topped with a bit of balsamic vinegar. It was so delicious and tender. The serving was huge too. I think there was half a pound of leaves. I thought I'd just eat half and freeze the other half, but I ate it all.

Friday we had salmon patties fried up in EVOO. I never used to make them, but my husband needs to eat more fish. Canned salmon seemed the easiest option that I can store in my pantry, but I had no recipes that used it. So I made one and trialed it out. It turns out I really like them. I put a mustard sauce on mine, but Joel has his plain. The side is some parsnips (from the store) and turnips and bok choy from the garden. The quinoa is seasoned with herbs from the garden.

Thursday was baked chicken with basil (from pinching out the tops in the garden) and olive oil. This is the chicken that I used the bones to make broth for the pot pie above. The whole wheat ciabatta was from the store (I really need to start baking my own bread again, but it has been hot - excuses, excuses). The vegetables were bok choy and the last of the kale blossoms from the garden.

Wednesday was scallops. Oh how I love scallops. The sides are brown rice and bok choy with a lemon wine sauce.

I do eat snacks too. They tend to be an apple, nuts, cheese, and/or popcorn. My meals tend to be simple and filled with veggies. If you noticed we tend to eat fish for three days and poultry for three days. Unlike my husband I do eat beef. I tend to have steak when he travels if I haven't had it in a while.

I have a three week menu that I rotate though. Though that menu changes up occasionally. I rarely follow it exactly. But I've found I like a plan. Then I know if I have to make pizza dough or start the brown rice or pick up an ingredient when I'm at the store. For the next week I have planned:

  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Pasta
  • Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes (for hubby not me)
  • Tuna Fish Sandwiches
  • Chicken Soup or Grilled Chicken with Rice
  • Salmon with Mushroom Tarragon Pasta

Now I won't have enchiladas tonight as the avocados aren't ripe yet. So we will probably have shrimp instead.


  1. Wow, what an interesting and impressive post! Despite your difficulties, you have a very varied diet...

  2. I love seeing what others have for dinner. I really like to cook but find that other commitments often take precedence. Like you, I have a bunch of dishes that I rotate on a regular basis. I really like to plan our meals ahead of time, but, more often than not, I don't get around to it and next thing you know I am scrambling at the last minute to get dinner on the table. There are some really good dinner ideas in this post - I think I will do the chicken with basil this week...

  3. I'm with Margaret, I love seeing how others eat. We have grown to like a meal plan here too. I think it helps in so many ways. Your meals certainly look appealing to me. I love salmon patties, but my wife was raised Catholic and had them too often on Fridays during Lent. I'm thinking I need to fix some scallops soon after seeing yours. It has been ages since I had any!

  4. That was a cool link. When I travel to another country I always like to go to a supermarket to see what people eat. It would be interesting to see what my groceries are like. But I tend to buy in bulk for pantry items. And some times I can't get something I need here easily. Especially soy free items. I get some chocolate now over the web. But I did find one at Whole Foods that is soy free (Theo). I wanted to try a soy free oyster sauce, so had to order that over the web as all the stores here only have ones with soy.

    I have to say though that I find the US photos of their groceries fairly unappealing with all the packaging. I do eat a little packaged food (like brown rice crackers and sometimes cereal), but not a lot. The Mexican one looked yummy except for the lineup of coke in the back. Luckily for me I've never been a soda fan.

  5. Your meals look lovely and healthy. It's crazy how healthy, wholesome food can wreak havoc in some people. I read somewhere that food allergies have increased (insert a huge percentage that I was shocked by) in the past decade. It makes me wonder about the cause or whether it is because of more diagnosis. Cooking meals for you and your husband must be a challenge. I get frustrated trying to figure out what to cook because I'm a vegetarian and J isn't, plus he doesn't like tomatoes, mushrooms, or olives.

  6. I love seeing what others eat for dinner!