Chantrelle and Cream Cheese Filled Trout

Hello Everyone! How are you doing?? I have been busy focusing on raw foods and eating really simply; I'm actually taking part in Raw Food Rehabs 11 week initiative Raw Balance but before I made that commitment I made this treat, and oh my! was it ever a treat! And while it was a treat I actually felt really good about it. It is trout that I caught filled with Chantrelle mushrooms that I picked, onions and garlic from my garden and a little cream cheese to hold it all together.  What is better then that? Plus the fish was a lunker so I was extra proud! My boyfriend has been working out of the country so I have been learning to do all of these things all on my own :) I've always loved fishing but as he is the 'professional' he always took over in some way, this time I did everything all on my own, even the cleaning and filleting. AND the chantrelles I picked while out getting firewood with a friend - how resourceful am I?? Haha... I have been feeling pretty empowered lately but don't worry I won't get to carried away!

Anyways back to the food talk...

It really is more about the method then the measurements as all of my cooking is. I do want to share something about the mushrooms though, many people cook all mushrooms on a lower heat and with chantrelles if you do that a lot of water comes out and end up steaming them instead of frying them, so I cook them at at medium - high, not full out but closer to high then medium and they get really nice and caramelized quite quickly. I then let them cool down and added a little onions, garlic, salt and pepper, it really should be all about those beautiful mushrooms. I added enough cream cheese to hold it all together. I filleted the trout and laid each fillet out, I added a scoop of the filling and rolled it up securing it with a toothpick. I roasted it in a 350 degree oven until the fish was opaque, I was careful not to overcook it but I can't really give you a time as it will all depend on the size of your fillet, and how much filling is inside, the filling does need to be warmed through only, my fillets came from a 3 1/2 lb trout (REALLY good size for my lake!) took about 25 minutes.

Creamy Hemp Seed Hummus

Going Gluten free is quite easy as long as you change your frame of mind. Once you get over what you can't eat, you can focus on what you can eat, and it just takes that little tweak in your brain, not to mention the fact that you feel so much better. Since I have been gluten free I have felt incredible! No more tummy troubles which had become such a part of my life that I didn't even realize they existed. They weren't absolutely unbearable but they were there and not all that pleasant! I wanted to share this dish with you because its beautiful and tasty!

Hemp seeds add the perfect creamy and nuttiness to this hummus, I didn't have any tahini and it seemed to be a blessing in disguise. I ate it with zucchini shaved into ribbons and rolled it up into deliciousness - I love things that are rolled up!

1 Can of Chick Peas (Drained and Rinsed thoroughly - to prevent any tummy troubles!)
1/4 C Hemp Seeds
3 Large Garlic Cloves (I love lots of garlic, please use as much or as little as you like)
Juice of a lemon
Big pinch of Salt

First grind the Hemp Seeds in a food processor until they are fine, add the garlic until its not to chunky and then add everything else. If your feeling like a little extra naughtiness add a couple of table spoons of olive oil slowly as it is whizzing to stay a little cleaner feel free to use water to make everything smooth.

I added a bit of the hummus to a ribbon of zucchini and with some I rolled it up like you see the beauty in the middle and others I made into little packages, both were equally delicious but i think I prefered the spirals. I added some sliced tomatoe and drizzled with a bit of balsamic - and it was amazing! You could easily serve this as a snack, appetizer or enjoy as a meal - the hummus makes it very filling!

My Gluten Free Promise!

Like most people when I found out I had to go gluten free I turned to the internet, and a couple of books. Being part of the food blogger world I scanned through countless blogs all of which offered all sorts of great looking recipes..... here comes the big However!
When I realized that those foods were bad for me I realized that there is a reason they are bad and why try to constantly substitute glutinous foods for ones that replicate the bad stuff? (especially when they are often so heavily processed!).
Gluten is very hard to digest, for some it is only diffucult and a minor annoyance that they don't even pay attention to, for people like me it actually causes adverse and sometimes embarrassing reactions and for others who are celiac it can cause irreversible damage to the intestinal tract. It really isn't meant to be eaten by anyone, and many cultures avoid it all together, or use it very sparingly. In North America however it is in EVERYTHING! Well just about everything, it hides in Soy Sauce and lurks in salad  dressings and marinades. It acts as a Stabilizer and Flavoring. If you see the words 'Natural Flavoring' or any variation you can bet that it is sneaky gluten getting into the things you use each and every day!
Now back to those blogs... everywhere you look you can find gluten free baking recipes, and I suppose this is the area where people need some expert information but it just seems so unfairly represented. When I was looking for recipes I was looking for those magical foods that are naturally gluten free and delicious, I wasn't looking for replications of the foods that were making me sick! I wanted fresh new ideas that I knew would lead to good health I wanted to see recipes that featured whole foods like vegetables and quinoa! I wanted to see ideas for breakfast lunch and dinner not just bread and dessert!
Where is a normal gluten free breakfast, lunch and dinner blog??

Well then I suppose it is up to me to provide you with that. I have already begun to Label my recipes Gluten Free so you can look here to find the ones that are currently gluten free, and please check back for more!
I can't promise that I won't throw in the occasional rice pasta, or gluten free cookie but I want to focus on how someone who has to eat gluten free actually has to eat, not just how to treat yourself. So many people are daunted by going gluten free but it really isn't that hard, you just need to rewire your brain a little bit so I hope I can help anyone who needs that! But remember these recipes will still be delicious for all so everyone is included!


Lotus Root Chips - The prettiest Chips of all!

As I mentioned not only an I gluten free now but I am also allergic to Potatoes :(
I found these Lotus Roots at Wal Mart of all places and while I don't usually buy produce from there these piqued my interest. No Potatoes means No Potato Chips... and I love things that are salty and crisp.
So get ready for the Worlds easiest recipe!

Lotus Root Chips

Lotus Root
Oil for frying

I sliced my Lotus Root on a mandolin, I used the second to thinnest slice, the thinnest was just a little too think for the bit that I wanted but you do whatever floats your boat.

Fry in small batches until golden and crisp, seasoning with salt while they are still warm.

They taste just like Potato Chips except they are SO much prettier! I have also used them as a garnish, what a simple and delicious way to dress up a meal!

My discovery came from a cup of tea!

Yes, my gluten intolerance was discovered due to a cup of tea.....

You may laugh at this but here it goes:
I went with a friend to have my Tea Leaves read last November and the lady who read them told me all sorts of things that were true and interesting about work, relationships, life you know the juicy stuff you usually want to hear when going to see a 'psychic' then near the end of the conversation she added in that I as allergic to something and I knew it because whenever I ate it I got a runny nose.
For months I had been getting a runny nose and kept thinking that I must be allergic to something but I didn't know if it was something in the air, in my house, or something that I ate... and if it was something that I ate how the hell would I decipher what it was, most of the time I consume many different ingredients in a meal. She said she thought it was starch, most likely wheat and potatoes.

So for about a month and a half I cut out starch from my diet completely. Including over Christmas which was really hard. I had also recently been talking to a woman who was allergic to 'everything' and had become really sick before she began working with her doctor to figure out she was allergic to all sorts of things and all he told her was to journal her food and how she felt, so I decided to figure it out on my own. As I said I cut out all starches from my body, then I slowly reintroduced them... well I tried... most starches made me feel terrible. I remember one one occasion around 11:00 in the morning I ate a single one bite brownie and by 1pm I was sick, in bed for the rest of the day. The only way I can explain it is like the worst hangover you have ever experienced x 100. I was nauseous, my head pounded harder then I had ever felt and I was completely drained of energy, I stayed in bed until the next day. So that means wheat certainly didn't agree with me. I also tried to drink a beer, and it left me feeling bloated and gross not as violent of a reaction as with the wheat but then I put two and two together and realized that was why I get terrible hangovers from only drinking two beer.... and that was why I get awful migraines sometimes... Gluten!
I had suspected but hoped it was just wheat and not gluten all together... somewhere I knew though... I can eat plenty of rice, quinoa, and other whole grains but not Wheat, Barley or Rye...
and as for Potatoes, they aren't that bad, but they do make me feel extremely bloated and gross so I just steer clear.

I know it is a strange way to learn about your health, but I am so grateful that I took her seriously. I am a much healthier person because of it!


PS: Here is a link to the already Gluten Free recipes on my blog :)  Gluten Free

It all began with Chicken Rice and Corn

I have mentioned before that I have recently found out I am allergic to gluten, and I have been working through it and learning and eating and starving as I go. I have decided I am going to spend some time sharing what I have been learning and what gluten free means to me  on this blog. The more and more gluten free blogs I look at the more I get discouraged. I am going to share my approach to going gluten free and ofcourse some recipes that go along with it, and some of the tid bits that I believe need to be mentioned.

I have always tried to focus on eating healthy foods and now I have to focus on eating healthy foods; and what a wonderful opportunity!

So to begin, here is how it all started for me...

I grew up in a healthy eating household, Cereal consisted of Granola, and each dinner featured a protein, a vegetable and a starch. While it did evolve to healthier fare it all began with Chicken Rice and Corn. My Step Dads favorite meal when he and my mother began dating, then moved in, had my sister and well lets just say that Chicken Rice and Corn lasted a long time.... and if I never see that combination on my plate again it will not be soon enough.

Chicken Rice and Corn did evolve though, it soon became Chicken Salad and Rice, Salmon Salad and Pasta, or some other variation of Protein, Vegetable and Starch when I started cooking I stayed with in this principal as it seemed so complete. I didn't eat a whole lot through out the day, usually some nuts and fruit at school, maybe a subway sandwich, some popcorn when I got home then ofcourse my very balanced dinner. And I was healthy, I walked like a maniac to my boyfriends house every day and participated in several dance classes a week. I noted that I rarely ever experienced gas (this might sound strange now but it will make sense later) I had never burped, never. And as for the other, maybe once a year. My digestion was in great shape.

When I moved out things changed. I was 18 when I left home for the first time and I tried to eat healthy, and I know I made better choices then alot of people I knew but I still fell victim to convenience,  and to alcohol, and to hang over food... and to being pretty broke and trying to eat cheaply. I am not saying that I ate those nasty microwave meals but I certainly wasn't eating the same way. I also fell in love with cooking and had a bad habit of making my boyfriend all of those really tasty but really bad for you foods, like pasta with alfredo sauce, eggs benny etc. delicious but not so good for you. I began to gain weight, and I noticed mt stomach wasn't all that great anymore though I attributed it to the alcohol consumption that befalls many people in the 18 - 23 age group.
I did make healthy choices, but sometimes those choices would be followed up by a 'treat' and I ate alot of Pasta and Potatoes as I was trying to cut back on meat but wanted to feel 'full', plus they're pretty cheap:) and they kept my boyfriend happy.
I honestly wasn't eating that badly, compared to living at home it wasn't good, but compared to the average person it still wasn't bad.

I believe that this was the onset of my allergy. I do not yet know if I am Celiac, but I do know that gluten makes me sick.... however until last fall I didn't know what was making me feel sick... or how it felt to be better...

Check back to see how I realized Gluten was the culprit!


Rich Chocolate Pudding

I came about this recipe idea when I was trying to figure out what to do with some left over egg yolks, for some reason I just couldn't bring myself to throw the away egg yolks... I looked at many options on how to use them, various fruit curds, creme brulee and even  a special deep conditioning treatment for my hair though as you can tell from this post I will leave that one up to the professionals. The others looked good but didn't quite account for the 4 egg yolks that I had then I realized - Pudding! 

Step aside Mr. Crosby - this is the real thing!
This pudding used egg yolks to thicken the pudding rather then starch which can really dilute the flavor and make it well... starchy for lack of a better word. To be honest 'bunged up' was the term that came to mind but that isn't a very appetizing word now is it? 

Anyways on to the recipe so you can all try this delectable wonder:

2 Cups of Semi Sweet Choc Chips
2 Cups of Heavy Cream
1 2/3 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Strong Espresso
4 egg yolks
2 pinches of salt

To prepare pour the Cream, Milk and Espresso into a pot and heat until almost boiling but don't let it burn!! When the milk is very hot add the chocolate and whisk until melted, the whisk will help to to homogenize more quickly. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks and salt, add a laddle of the hot chocolate mix slowly to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling. Continue to add the rest of the chocolate mixture slowly until it is all combined, you should notice it thicken a little bit right away. Add the mixture back into the pot and bring the mixture up to a boil, whisk it while boiling for 2 minutes or until it feels thicker, it should be a thicker but not 'pudding like' yet. Pour the pudding into individual ramekins, a bowl or like I used short and stout canning jars, it should yield enough for 5 jars. Pop those suckers in the fridge and allow them to cool, should you do this over night you will get a nice thick rich pudding, should you sneak one out after only a few hours it will be thick around the egde and gooey in the middle. 

Now because I love the 'skin' especially on this recipe it really is just extra thick pudding on top, I leave them open to the world, should you wish to prevent this you can put some saran wrap right onto the pudding, essentially the saran wrap make the skin and you pull off just a little off the top so that it looks like a creamier color with no skin. Its up to you!

Yummy Roasted Carrots and Green Beans

Have you ever came home and looked in your refrigerator and wondered what the heck you were going to make for dinner? That was me a couple of days ago.... while my fridge was quite full I couldn't find inspiration anywhere and when this happens I usually turn to the amazing ability of roasting at high temperature, its pretty incredible how an oven can turn anything from stodgy potatoes to crispy crudites into amazing caramelized goodness. And that was exactly what happened. I stared at a bag of carrots and green beans, cleaned and chopped where necessary then tossed them with olive oil, a little butter salt and pepper and tossed them into a 400 degree oven until they were caramelized
and delicious. And they were! I pulled them out and sprinkled them with a little Parmesan cheese and voila amazing green bean and carrots!

I encourage you to get roasting - anything you like! Carrots, Beets, Potatoes, Cauliflower Anything! You just pop it in the oven, leave it alone and wait for the goodness!
What a great way to warm up on these cool and chilly nights!
Happy Roasting!