When I was younger I was fortunate enough to spend my summers with my cousins in Alberta. There I worked at a greenhouse on an assembly line packaging tree saplings in mass quantities to send to Northern Canada. Having grown up in rural Ontario, one would think that I would lead a very similar lifestyle to that of my Albertan counterparts. I was wrong.
My Albertan cousins live significantly more “laid back” life styles than I. While I have grown used to the hustle and bustle of Southern Ontario, they drive on empty highways and arrive to their destinations in leisurely time. They also hunt and fish frequently, living off of their gains. Prior to my visits out there I had never tried elk or moose and our fish was generally bought at the store. One summer, I was fortunate enough to go on a fishing trip to Slave Lake, where we spent three days catching fish that we could fry up for dinner and take Home to freeze. Although that was almost ten years ago now, I still reminisce on those days often.
This weekend brought with it visitors from Toronto in the form of my brother Emerson, cousin Brent and their friends Dan and Blake. They rented an ice fishing hut just south of North Bay and spent their weekend braving the Canadian outdoors. Having a day off of work, I made the trek through the slush on Lake Nipissing to their little fishing hut. With bunk beds lining the perimeter of the hut, there were four holes in the ground for each of them to have a fishing site.
Apparently all of the fish were biting earlier in the day, as in my six hours there Bren and Emerson caught one a piece. Luckily the boys were able to cook most of their catches from earlier in the day for dinner, which Blake faithfully filleted on the table in the hut.
While I probably will not be ice fishing any time soon, it was a fun experience and reminded me of my Albertan cousins. (I was also fortunate enough to have some Whole30 approved perch that they cooked up for me!)
Maybe not the best idea
This past year I discovered a new passion for cauliflower. My sisters and I roasted one in the oven during girl’s night and the rest has been history. Unfortunately, cauliflower can be pricey and subsequently a bit of a splurge. Compliments of Pinterest, I found a recipe for No’tmeal using coconut milk, coconut flour and cauliflower. While the concept seemed strange, I decided to give it a try because after all, this is the Whole30 and anything seems to go.
While preparing it, I continually was taste testing. On my first try, I cried out to my roommate that it tasted like cauliflower soup. While I enjoy cauliflower soup, this recipe was supposed to be generated more towards a breakfast dish. Soaking cashews in hot water, I created a cashew sauce to put in. Although I thought it was a genius idea, it was not: the flavour remained soup like. I then turned to my favourite condiment (if you classify it as a condiment): almond butter. Mashing a banana, I blended the almond butter in with cinnamon and combined it into the No’tmeal. This improved the overall flavour, however the concept was still odd.
In making it smoothie-bowl inspired, I sprinkled coconut chips, cocoa nibs and strawberries on top. The initial taste of the bowl was strange, however the more I ate, the more I began to enjoy it.
Fishermen Come For Breakfast
Sunday morning- also the morning of my twenty sixth day of the Whole30- brought Emerson, Brent, Blake and Dan for brunch. Although no fish were caught on their last morning, they were all in high spirits and adrenalized on their catches of the previous days. When inviting them over, I warned Emerson and Brent that I would be preparing something Whole30 compliant. While they were accepting of this condition, Brent requested fruit salad.
“We’re going to be eating junk all weekend, so I know that we will be wanting a fruit salad Sunday morning”- Cousin Brent
Keeping Brent’s request in mind, I price matched some red mangoes for eighty-eight cents a piece, pineapple and strawberries. Having consumed a majority of apples and bananas this past month, it was nice to have a change up in fruit. I then decided to stay true to my promise and make a breakfast casserole.
Having prepared my taco salads earlier this weekend, I cooked an extra pound of turkey for a Mexican casserole. Using a recipe from Pinterest, I fried up potatoes that were shredded in the food processor, adding some cumin and chili pepper to spice them up. Those were the first ingredient to be sprinkled on the bottom of the pan, followed by the ground turkey.
I then chopped up red peppers and kale, followed by sliced tomatoes. Once it was all cooked, I served it with guacamole and salsa.
While the boys were very complimentary, they also spent the weekend in an ice fishing hut on the middle of the lake, so who knows how good the casserole actually was 🙂