* Or, It’s a Privilege to Eat You (thanks, Whole Foods).
Happy “Celebrating Our Country’s Freedom Day” to both Canadians and Americans (and anyone else who’d like to take part in the party!).**
And before I forget (because I’m at that age when I do forget), let me also say “THANK YOU” to everyone for your amazing, supportive, generous and kind comments and emails while I’ve been away! Of course, I would have returned to the blog in any case just because I love it, but your encouragement may have hastened the process just a wee bit.
It does feel great to be back. And just what have I been doing for the past month, you may ask?
Well, most importantly, I’ve been assiduously following my ACD and have definitely made progress in terms of overall health (in fact, as my naturopath studied my live blood cells under a microscope the other day, he commented, “The membranes look really healthy. They’re in great shape.” Alas, if only he’d been able to say that about my hips and thighs). Still, I’m sure my immune system was flattered.
While a couple of the most annoying symptoms do still persist, I’ve determined to continue with the regimen, which will likely mean a few more months of restrictions. So for those of you who are relatively new to my blog, you should know that I don’t normally consume gluten-free foods exclusively, but I will be doing so for a while longer. I’ll be eating more vegetable-based dishes and more raw foods as well. And some fruits are back on the menu, though (and let me tell you, even the serpent in Eden wasn’t this gleeful to see apples).
With the school year just completed, I thought I’d summarize my last month and save space by posting a report card instead of writing about it at length:
Student: Ricki Heller; Term: June 2009; Program: Get the Candida Out! Age: You’re kidding, right?
TOPICS AND GRADES:
Adherence to ACD: 100% (not an off-program crumb since March 7, 2009)
Current strictness of ACD Phase (II): 95% (allowed some fruit and oats now)
Current health status: 80% (only one really nagging symptom left)
Percentage of weight lost toward goal: 66% (lost 28 pounds–only 17 to go!! Regular updates on the Progress Tracker.)
Percentage of airtime devoted to Farrah as opposed to Michael: 2.5% (It should be a crime, really.)
“Good for you, Mum! But they forgot to mention that you share and play well with others (especially canines). And we agree–even though Michael seemed to be fond of animals, what about poor Farrah’s fifteen minutes?”
The most important thing I’ve discovered over the past month, however, is that I am a lousy multi-tasker. So rather than attempt to keep up with work, blog, cooking, promoting a cookbook, baking for said cookbook, Facebook, and any other “-book,” I’ve decided to slow the pace somewhat. I will still be blogging regularly, though perhaps not quite as often. And while I promise to keep reading all the blogs I love, please forgive me if I don’t comment as often as I used to–but know that I’m still there!
And now, on to the über-healthy (and ACD-friendly) recipe!
On weekends, the HH and I usually enjoy a leisurely brunch before starting our day in earnest (well, if a meal at 9:30 or 10:00 AM can properly be called “brunch.” You see, as in most areas, when it comes to mornings, the HH and I are polar opposites. When I lived on my own, my natural proclivity was to wake at 6:30 AM every day, weekends included. In contrast, the HH, left to his own devices, would have just fallen into bed around that time, then sleep until long past noon. Our compromise is a 10:30 brunch).
Our typical habit (once the meal is dispensed with) is to sit across from each other, sipping our respective hot beverages (He: Hazelnut Coffee with Full Cream and Sugar; She: Green tea, straight up) while we read the newspapers. In a positive spin on that scene from Citizen Kane, we read choice tidbits aloud to each other (too nerdy, I know). The HH invariably peruses the Real Estate section in The National Post. The other day, for instance, he pointed out that they were profiling the home of artist Ken Danby, at around $3 million. There was also a suburban mansion with a 2,000 square foot (610 metre) kitchen. A 2000 square foot kitchen!!! Do you think they’d let me live in the pantry? (No, seriously. I understand that bulk bags of rice can serve as very comfortable pillows.)
Running in the social circles I do (okay, more like “speed-walking in the social circles I do”), I can often forget that there are a lot of incredibly wealthy dudes in Toronto (even without Prince and the Torontonian wife he divorced who once lived on The Bridle Path ). A casual stroll along Bloor Street West in the tony Yorkville area will yield sightings of Chanel, Hermes, LaCoste, Tiffany & Co., Harry Rosen, Holt Renfrew, Dolce and Gabbana, and pretty much any other unattainable-to-the-average-shopper stores you can think of. As for me, I get a kick out of peeking through the smoked glass windowpanes, gawking at all those privileged folk who can buy $1500.00 thong sandals without batting a (false) eyelash.
Given the average net worth of shoppers in the area, it makes sense that Toronto’s first Whole Foods Market decided to set up in Yorkville. After all, they don’t call it “Whole Paycheck” for nothing.
About a week before their grand opening (in an effort to curry favor with local residents), they published this recipe for their popular Kale and Seaweed Salad in the local paper (in fact, I do believe I read it aloud to the HH over brunch). I also remember thinking, “This is one of their most popular recipes? Are all those rich customers slightly touched as well?” Having never tasted sea veggies at the time, I couldn’t imagine the magical commingling of salty, mineral-rich arame with chewy bits of barely-cooked kale, peppery shards of fresh ginger and crunchy sesame seeds, all bathed in a smoky, nutty sesame oil dressing.
In order to sample it from the source, I (along with throngs of other curious shoppers) made the trek to Yorkville and purchased a small container of the stuff (price: about $6.47 for three miniscule forkfuls). I must admit, though, I was smitten; it is truly an inspired mix of ingredients, and one that I still, all these years later, love. But I couldn’t bring myself to buy it again for that price since I, unlike the local denizens, am not a magnate/ celebrity/ third-generation billionaire/ ostentatious nouveau-riche/couture designer/ plastic surgeon/ or other financially privileged resident.
Luckily, the salad is easy to make at home, and it’s become a regular feature in our summer menus. It’s also the perfect introduction to sea veggies for anyone who’s never tried them and may feel a little wary; arame is one of the mildest forms of seaweed, decidely not “fishy.” The recipe is also fairly quick to prepare, despite the presoaking and then boiling of the arame. (While the seaweed soaks, simply cook your kale and prepare the dressing; then rinse the cooked seaweed with cold water and toss all together). And don’t forget that sea veggies offer an ample nutritional boost, helping to foil cancerous growths, keep your thyroid healthy (lots of iodine, there!), prevent cardiac disease and inflammation, and provide a full array of minerals and vitamins (particularly iodine and Vitamin K ).
As we munched on our portions of salad the other night, the HH remarked (and I quote verbatim), “I really love this salad.”
So go ahead, give kale and seaweed a try this summer. At the very least, you can feel as if you’ve been intermingling with the upper crust for a little while.
**I meant “Canada Day” and “Independence Day,” of course!
Kale and Seaweed Salad (suitable for ACD All Stages)
adapted from from Whole Foods’ recipe, originally published in The Globe and Mail
1-1/2 cups (about 0.5 oz/ 15 g) dry arame or other strands of dried seaweed (such as hijiki)
1 large bunch kale, washed, large vein removed
2-inch (5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchstick pieces
2 Tbsp (60 ml) roasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup (60 ml) Bragg’s liquid aminos, tamari, or soy sauce
1/4 cup (60 ml) reserved soaking water
2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame oil
In a medium bowl of cold water, soak the arame about 20 minutes, until softened. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the liquid. Place the drained arame in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, then cover and turn off heat. Let sit 5 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Place the drained, cooled arame in a large salad bowl.
Meanwhile, steam the kale or cook in a minimal amount of water until just tender (about 5 minutes). Drain the kale and rinse with cold water; spin in a salad spinner to dry. Chop roughly or tear into bite-sized pieces. Add the kale to the salad bowl with the arame. Sprinkle with the ginger and sesame seeds.
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the Bragg’s, reserved soaking water, and sesame oil. Pour over the salad and toss to mix well. Arrange on a serving platter or individual plates, discarding excess liquid (the dressing is quite thin, but I found you need all the water to offset the saltiness of the Bragg’s or soy sauce).
Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold. Makes 4 servings (but only 2-1/2 in our house). Will keep, refrigerated, for 2 days.
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Last Year at this Time: The Staff of the DDD Household
If you’re looking for Canada Day/4th of July desserts, you might like these:
- Maple Cupcakes with Maple “Buttercream“
- Vegan Butter Tarts (all-Canadian dessert!)
- French Toast Soufflé with Summer Berries (some red, white and blue!)
- Gluten Free Bean Brownies
- Mrs. K’s Date Cake (great for buffet or picnic)
© 2009 Diet, Dessert and Dogs