Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rawthentic Eatery Uncooking Classes


There is only one restaurant in the area that hasn’t gotten me sick on a regular basis, even though they all try to accommodate me, and that is Rawthentic Eatery. The raw food diet is naturally gluten free being based solely on nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I really like some of the raw foods that lend to extending my gluten free repertoire.  

So I’ve been super excited to be going to the Rawthentic Eatery uncooking classes. They have been offering 2 hour cooking classes, taught by Deborah, twice a month and range from $25-$35 plus taxes. I love these classes because Deborah demonstrates exactly how to make each recipe, showing you the consistency of flax meal flour and other ingredients as she goes along and answers lots of questions. Then at the end of the demonstration we all get to eat the food. She purposely picks items that will make a meal.


One class I went to was sprouted buckwheat bread, cashew mayo, Thai kelp noodle salad and banana ice cream. They made the bread into a sandwich, so at the end of the class we had sandwiches, salad and ice cream. The ice cream was a huge hit. Last week I attended a class and learned how to make wraps, hummus (without chickpeas), and raspberry cheesecake. So again it was made into a full meal at the end of the class. I keep making the mistake of eating before coming to class and then get so full at the end of it.

 

There next class is December 7th, 2011 and it’s all raw Christmas desserts. I can’t wait! They in know way asked me to promote their restaurant or classes, but I have just been enjoying them so much that I wanted to share with those of you that might be local and who might want to try it out. If you would like more information their website is: http://www.rawthenticeatery.com/ Unfortunately they are not very good at keeping it up to date. The courses listed are from last year. However, they do have a mailing list that you can sign up for and it is always up to date

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sausage, Sage, Squash and Quinoa Skillet


The other day I was pondering what to do with my left over pumpkin. You see, I had bought two pumpkins for Halloween and carved one myself and saved the other for C to carve. Well C never got around to carving it. So I thought I would use it for food instead of some sort of decorative ornament. My only problem is that I’ve never done this before. I have always had to throw out my pumpkins after carving them because they rot so quickly and I’ve never bought a pumpkin specifically to bake with. I know you are supposed to pick the small sugar pumpkins to bake pumpkin pies and that sort of thing, but here I had a huge pumpkin that I wasn’t even sure how to tackle cutting.

So I’m thinking what I should do with this thing, when I decide to make a savory dish out of it. Everything pops into my head and I feel I have a winner on my hands. So I go and grab the pumpkin off the deck and the top is rotten already. Oh boy. I do not like wasting food, but I also do not like using vegetables that are starting to rot. So I lay my idea to rest for the night and made something completely different (quinoa sushi) for dinner that night.

The next day I had a revelation. I had on my shelf a butternut squash. I could use it to make my meal! I really wanted to make this dinner because it was the first dinner I have thought of completely on my own with no recipe at all! Most of my food (that isn’t basic meat and potatoes) comes from at least one recipe if not a combination of several. So for dinner I made this sausage, sage, squash and quinoa skillet. I don’t really know what else to call it, but it is like Thanksgiving on a plate.  Canadian Thanksgiving is long over, but if you find yourself craving the savory flavour of Thanksgiving, this might just be the next best thing.


Sausage, Sage, Squash and Quinoa Skillet

1 Butternut Squash (or small pumpkin)
1 medium White or Yellow Onion, thickly chopped
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon fresh Sage, finely chopped
½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
½ cup Walnut pieces
1 package Ground Pork Sausage (gf)
1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water
1 tablespoon Creamed Coconut
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Take your butternut squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the guts in the center. Place face down (skin up) on a foil lined cookie sheet and place in the oven to bake for 45 minutes to an hour or however long it takes it to get soft throughout.

In a small pot, place one cup of quinoa in 2 cups of water and throw a tablespoon of creamed coconut* in the pot. Place on high until it starts to boil, and then reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes with lid on.

Meanwhile, in a deep frying pan, melt the butter. Add onions, sage, pepper and nutmeg and cook until golden and soft.  Push the onions to the side and add in your pork sausage and cook until no longer pink.

Once your pork is done add in the walnuts to lightly toast them and then add quinoa to your frying pan with the sausage and onions and mix well. Next, cube your cooked butternut squash and stir them into the mix.  Plate and serve warm.

* I discovered recently that if you throw in a little bit of creamed coconut into the quinoa, it cuts the bitter nutty flavour of the quinoa and makes it more palatable, without an overpowering coconut flavour. It’s my new favorite thing to do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Contaminated Lentils

Just a quick video from the folks at Whole Life Nutrition about lentils often being contaminated with gluten containing grains. I have had this issue myself, making a rice/lentil wrap and getting quite ill. I knew the rice was fine as I had used it before and the bag of lentils was brand new, so it had to be the lentils. Just something to consider.


Gluten Cross-Contamination in Lentils from Whole Life Nutrition on Vimeo.