The camera felt too heavy to hold and snap up photos this week, even though I was cooking and experimenting each day in the kitchen, with new ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And despite being busy with a new job, a new schedule, I was still cooking and baking, but neglecting to write down anything, my only records being photos quickly snapped up with my phone and a quick two-line caption for Instagram. I have to say that this past week has given me lots of food for thought... quite literally, and I have more ideas for recipes which I will hopefully have time to make before another round of days where I'll be working.
Here's some of the last week's shots, an incomplete diary of gluten free meal ideas, but definitely some of my favourites, and some of my favourite creativity with breakfast and lunch. Brunch.
Starting last week with training at my new job, a receptionist at one of Sooke's hotels, I spent the last of my lazy weekends stretching mornings out, spending time with family, and hiking up one of the mountains nearby. One Sunday morning was spent in my fuzzy pajamas, a hot almond milk mocha, and some gluten free toast. The bread I use now comes from a local bakery called Little Vienna, where they have an array of speciality foods, from cakes and pastries to cookies and doughnuts, and a whole menu of soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch. Among them, many items are wheat free, so we often stop by for a cup of coffee and a small bite under the sun, leaving with buns of bread for dad, and some gluten free for me. And so, for an autumn breakfast, these buns toasted, one half topped with raw chocolate hazelnut butter, the other with local marmalade, and for a perfect finish, some sliced banana, are delicious any morning.
It was a lazy Sunday morning after all, one complete with a little fog that quickly dissipated as the sun warmed, so I felt little need to cook up eggs, keeping my inner laziness happy for just a little while longer.
Usually though, making something delicious and filling, while using an array of colourful and nutritional ingredients is always one of my favourite ways to start a day with a little power and protein from a plate of fresh eggs. However, I know that to take the time and appreciate the simple pleasures of a breakfast plate can sometimes be easy to forget, so using leftovers from my Baked Root Vegetables Tossed in Fresh Rosemary
, sautéed with tomatoes and topped with a free range egg, this was another meal that made it easier to settle into living locally, understanding the abundance of produce from nearby farms, while coming to a point where the little things no longer cause so much stress.
Having eggs for breakfast is one of my favourites, a very simple way to enjoy eggs, that can be paired with a variety of vegetables, cooked or fresh, or even a dash of spices for a whole new flavour. Dad and I enjoyed these eggs in very different ways one morning, him choosing a slice of toast while I fried up some leftover veggies, including eggplant and spinach in a peanut sauce, with some fresh slices of avocado, for a breakfast plate that had all the flavour of fresh ingredients.
And here's another eggy brekky, a fried egg over roasted tomatoes and a Spinach-Lime Chickpea Salad, that is so easy and utterly delish. Fresh flavours, whole foods, and a perfect blend of savoury that complement a free-range egg so well.
There isn't any sense in forgetting to enjoy the beauty around us, or the very simple things that make up each day, those moments that can often turn out to have the most power to push us to appreciate what we have, and what we've achieved. After a morning run, one that led me through the cool wind and trails where the sun hadn't quite reached its rays to melt away the dew, I craved something a little sweet - and the sweeter fact of enjoying food that is so delicious while making me feel good. These organic chia seed waffles are a perfect morning brunch, topped with raw cashew butter and frozen raspberries, sliced banana and a touch of pure Canadian maple syrup. They even led me stop a moment before sinking my fork in, taking a quick moment to see the beauty of the colours, the bounce in my step, and the outlook that the day would bring even sweeter moments.
There are many breakfasts like these that are the best way to get ready for a rainy walk along the beaches, and llama play date - highlights which include a staring contest, and something along the lines of a water fight, with this lovely little guy at a nearby farm.
For a change from a typical bowl of cereal, or the thought of standing over the stove with an egg sizzling in the pan makes us wince at the sound, aware that each bump and crackle could wake someone up in the early hours of the morning, I pull out the jars of Oh Baby Hold Up. Granola
to sprinkle generously on some slices of fresh pear, and top with a little more shredded coconut and dried figs. A splash of almond milk completes this breakfast bowl for me, and I can easily sit back with a hot cup of tea, my book, and relax with a little more time in the morning before work.
Whether at work, or off early enough to enjoy a hot lunch at home, this midday meal can be as creative as breakfast, and even better when the fridge is full of fresh vegetables to choose from. With a curry that I brought to work one day, what ended up to be a mix of beet curry and a potato-chickpea dahl, I was then much happier to arrive home early to have lunch. Heating up the curries to serve with a fresh spinach and avocado salad I spent a few hours after enjoying this colourful meal running errands and taking a walk with the dog out on the windy shore, fully rejuvenated after an early morning, and finally a nutrient-packed lunch.
Although a healthy salad looks beautiful and can always be altered to suit the mood, or to use up available produce, I often crave comfort food on a rainy day. A typical English meal, baked beans on toast, comes around time and time again on lazy days. With gluten free bread from the bakery slightly toasted and topped with baked beans, i can curl up with this comforting meal, and almost forget that once upon a time, this tasted slightly different, but now, gluten free and all, it's delicious. And of course, this meal would never be complete without a cup of Tetley tea to sip.
Finishing this week off, Mum and I explored a fairly new bakery in Victoria that specialises in only serving foods that are completely gluten free, with many options for dairy free and paleo diets as well. Sitting in a sunlit window on two lounge chairs with a white table between us, mugs of coffee in our hands, we also shared a Veggie Melt and a plate of Waffles between us. Capturing both the sweet and savoury that makes up the best of brunches.
With roasted vegetables on a gluten free English muffin, topped with Swiss cheese, we began breakfast with savoury, enjoying each flavourful bite of the Veggie Melt between us, quickly relishing the delicious taste and scraping our plates for the last remaining crumbs of English muffin and roasted yams, courgettes, and aubergines that had fallen between mouthfuls.
Enjoy! xx S
Our brunch ended on a sweet note when we split a plate of organic waffles, these warmed waffles were topped with a rich strawberry reduction, fresh banana, a heaping tower of whipped cream, and drizzles of chocolate sauce. Each bite was utter bliss, and in between savouring each bite, we chatted about my new job, the excitement in still having a place to explore that has remained so new to us, and the availability of lovely places such as this special place, the Sante Gluten Free Cafe
, and so many others, that make eating gluten free so much easier.
Labels: breakfast, dairy free, eggs, gluten free, grain free, lunch