Hope you all had a great weekend! Over here, it was Canadian Thanksgiving (and “Anti-Candida Thanksgiving,” all in one!). For a great tongue-in-cheek summary of the Canadian version of the holiday and how it came to be, take a look at Willie’s explanation, here. 😉
Rather than visit with my family in Montreal or head over to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving this year, the HH and I decided to spend the time at home, just us and The Girls. And after a truly lovely, restorative weekend, I am feeling rather thankful indeed. Great weather, great food, great company (“Thanks, Mum, we think you’re lots of fun to spend time with, too”) and–best of all–an entire day off work! Whoo hoo!
Although the pile of marking perilously perched on the corner of my desk might protest otherwise, I knew it was essential that I take at least one day off over the weekend; I’ve been feeling bombarded with work lately and yearned for some down time. Since Environment Canada deemed Sunday the most meteorologically-friendly (though not pronunciation-friendly) day of the three, that’s the day I chose. And so glad I did!
On Sunday morning, The HH and I rolled out of bed at the leisurely hour of 8:14 AM (“You said it, Mum! We were waiting, like, over an hour for you two to get up!“). The HH rightly pointed out that it was probably the last weekend this year that we’d be able to stroll along the boardwalk at The Beaches** (a hip area of town abutting Lake Ontario), as the temperature was 21C (70F), the skies were clear, and the sun was brilliant. So we decided to treat The Girls to a little spontaneous jaunt downtown.
We piled in the car, drove down the Don Valley Parkway, and an hour later–voilà–there we were! As soon as we began to stroll toward the lake, however, I discovered two things: 1) Chaser, having been raised pretty much in the (suburban) area where we live, has never encountered a surfeit of squirrels such as wanders freely over those grassy knolls in the older parts of the city (needless to say, she went ballistic); and 2) I am not nearly as strong as I used to be (to wit, a 43-pound lab-border collie-shepherd mix was able to topple me without too much trouble at all as she raced after myriad unperturbed squirrels on the grassy knolls).
Clearly, the squirrels have been through this routine several thousand times and didn’t even twitch a whisker until Chaser was fairly on top of them, at which point they scooted up the closest tree trunk without a backward glance. After several near-misses, a nearly-twistsed ankle (mine, not Chaser’s) and some heavy-duty yelping and whining (both mine and Chaser’s), we all piled back in the car, drove north on the Don Valley Parkway and an hour later–voilà–we were back home again.
Our Thanksgiving feast that evening was a perfect end to the day. On the menu were tortière (recipe next post), greens with walnut-miso sauce, stuffed squash and pumpkin-chocolate mousse for dessert (seems I’m on a mousse kick these days). And though our meal was both substantial and filling, I am pleased to report that, at the end of it, I felt perfectly fine–not in the least bit stuffed. Could it be that these last 19 months on the ACD are finally beginning to teach me to pay attention to my body’s fullness signals? Now, wouldn’t that be a perfect end to an idllyic Sunday?
Which brings me to Thanksgiving Monday and. . . pancakes! I’ve been fiddling with a vegan coconut-flour pancake recipe for ages with mimimal success. But for some reason yesterday (perhaps it was my relaxed state of mind after the day off) all the stars–and gluten-free flours–aligned, and the cakes turned out perfectly! The HH and I each enjoyed a couple of high protein, grain-free pancakes while sipping on our respective hot beverages (his: hazelnut flavored coffee; mine: matcha green tea) and reading the newspapers (his: National Post; mine: Globe and Mail), basically just chillaxing as much as possible. The pancakes were topped with this quick and easy cranberry-apple compote (which the HH also smeared as a sauce over his leftover Thanksgiving turkey).
The inclusion of fresh apple (which is more ACD friendly than jarred applesauce) adds natural sweetness to mitigate the overpowering tartness of the cranberries. The compote cooks up quickly and was perfect slathered on the pancakes, but would be equally good on toast, rice cakes, or baked into muffins. All in all, a great way to close out the weekend.
“Actually, Mum, the perfect way to close it out would be for Dad to give us a big piece of that turkey, since it’s way too much for one person. . . okay, I guess we’ll take another walk on the beach as second choice.”
** a few years ago, the city voted that the official name of this district be changed to “The Beach” (singular). Sorry, but certain monikers–like Prince, SkyDome, Russia or The Beaches–will always remain the same in my mind.
Looking for more Thanksgiving recipes? Here’s my mega roundup of 75+ Healthy, Whole Foods, Vegan & Gluten-Free recipes.
Quick Fresh Apple and Cranberry Compote (suitable for ACD Stage 2 and beyond)
from Diet, Dessert and Dogs (https://www.rickiheller.com)
This makes a great topping for pancakes or spread for muffins, scones or toast. Or head over to the savory side of things and dollop it on burgers, tofu or curries.
2 cups (500 ml) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 large apple, cored (peel if desired, but not necessary)
1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) ground ginger
2 Tbsp (30 ml) water
10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, or 2 Tbsp (30 ml) agave nectar
Place the cranberries in a small, heavy-bottomed pot. Grate the apple into the pot and add the ginger and water; stir to combine. Turn heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Allow to cook, stirring frequently, for 15-20 minutes, until the apple is soft and the cranberries have popped. Stir well to combine the fruits. Add stevia to taste and stir well. Serve warm. Makes about 1-1/2 cups (360 ml). Store, covered, in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
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You might also like: Gluten Free Cashew Chocolate Chip Cookies
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