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Unlike some people, we still got to feast during the G20 July 1, 2010

Posted by maggieknight in Une diète pour La Belle Province.
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With all the G20 craziness that’s been going on, I haven’t taken the time to write about how la diète pour La Belle Province is going. The answer, simply put, is “well”. (Fortunately our fridge was crammed to bursting following Saturday’s trip to the market, so grocery shopping hasn’t been needed while I’ve been media tracking…)

If a picture is worth a thousand words then tasty samples must be worth a million, but since this medium doesn’t allow for that, here are some photos of what we’ve been eating.

Sunday's Dinner

Sunday dinner: Pizza

Nat made the dough (with a new recipe he says was very easy), and I made a delicious (if I do say so myself) sauce out of onions, garlic, and stewed tomatoes (leftover in our freezer from our former roommate Anna’s time – I can’t promise that they were all from Quebec, but they were likely dumpstered, possibly without actually experiencing the dumpster stage). We topped our pizzas with red and yellow bell peppers (which were looking peaky in our fridge’s crisper), fresh spinach from the market, fresh tomatoes, and cheddar. Since we only have one pizza pan, we also made use of a frying pan and Nat’s “pi” plate (you can’t see the bottom with the letter pi here, but the numbers around the rim should give you a hint). It was delicious, probably the best pizza I’ve had in ages. (But then, I’ve always preferred my pizzas on the less greasy side.) We polished off the big one for dinner on Sunday and were able to eat the other two for lunch and dinner the next day.

Monday breakfast: Strawberry-rhubarb crumble

Strawberry rhubarb crumble and apple juice for breakfast (I can't recall the rationale for the wine glass)

I admit I went slightly overboard on the strawberry front, so there was no choice but to start cooking things with them before they went off. Fortunately, rhubarb and strawberries are a match made in heaven. We haven’t found a source of local oats, so I was a little worried about trying to make crumble and feeling too tired to make pastry (it was Sunday night and I was watching the rainy situation unfold at Queen & Spadina). Fortunately, in an email conversation with my mother, she had assured me that it is perfectly possible to make a crumble topping out of whole wheat flour (1/2 cup), butter (1/3 cup), a bit of salt, and maple syrup to taste. Nat and I can now confirm this. By the time the crumble came out of the oven, it was late and I was physically and emotionally exhausted and Nat and I were still full of pizza. Consequently, the crumble became breakfast (with milk), snack, and dessert on Monday.

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble with decently successful oatless topping

Tuesday dinner: Asparagus-Mushroom Quiche

While tales of people existing on primarily eggs and potatoes are common in locavore lore, we made the cushy decision to conduct our diet in the middle of summer when there is plenty of veg to be had. Consequently we haven’t eaten potatoes since the first night. We have, however, had a decent amount of eggs. When flipping through our collection of cookbooks for new ideas about foods I don’t often cook with (such as asparagus, rhubarb, and radishes), I happened upon a vegetable quiche recipe in the Green Door Cookbook (from the restaurant in Ottawa). Ah ha, I thought, that will be good with asparagus and mushrooms in it. And so it was, although the crust recipe they provided was difficult to achieve if, like me, you don’t use wax paper (it always seems silly to just use it once and throw it away…).

Tuesday's Dinner: Mushroom-Asparagus Quiche

Wednesday dinner: More quiche! There was a decent amount of quiche left and the remaining spinach was going limp in places, so Nat threw together a basic spinach salad to complement quiche leftovers. To jazz it up a bit, we opened our bottle of honey wine. It was less sweet than I remembered it to be when I last had it at a friend’s (one of the illustrious founders of the McGill Food Systems Project)–which I was glad of, since I prefer drier wines–but still has a warm hint of honey. I will stop now in fear of further exposing my lack of expert vino knowledge.

Wednesday's Dinner (don't worry, we had seconds)

Today’s breakfast: Pancakes!

In honour of its being a holiday (although I am not feeling particularly patriotic about anything these days), Nat and I made pancakes. My mother’s recipe includes grated carrots and apple and yogurt; the only thing I had to substitute was some maple syrup in place of brown sugar. We drizzled more maple syrup on top of the finished pancakes or spooned on some applesauce (made from Québec Courtland apples earlier this year and defrosted from the freezer). I made mint tea, because somehow for me pancakes simply must be accompanied by tea.

Today's Breakfast

And so here we are. A week in, it feels remarkably easy. Sure, I am missing tea and chocolate, but with the provision of reasonable substitutes (mint leaves and strawberry baked goods), I’m feeling well cared for. I still have radishes, broccoli, celery, sweet carrots, one bunch of asparagus, several stalks of rhubarb, and one-and-a-half bottles of wine left from last weekend’s market trip. I have a jar of strawberry jam in the freezer and another half-eaten in the fridge. We still have two loaves of bread left (although admittedly the one that there hadn’t been room for in the fridge or freezer developed mould spots yesterday–the result of no preservatives and it being relatively warm, I imagine; I cut them off and it is now freezing in the space left by the applesauce and stewed tomatoes).  Of course, this week we also enjoyed some food left over from before the diet started; things may get a little tougher when there are no red peppers or stewed tomatoes to fall back on.

Huzzah for summer and all the fresh food it brings, and for deciding to make the time to experiment with its bounty.

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