Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pesto Edamame Salad

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It's officially Day 20 of being gluten-free, and I am even starting to annoy myself with how many times per day I say the words, 'gluten-free.'  Sometimes, in an effort to be less annoying, I shorten it to just 'GF,' but I think it's had a reverse effect.  But on here, my food blog, I am uninhibited, unencumbered, and I can say the words again and again!!!  Gluten-free, gluten-free, GF!!!

So far, so good with the diet.  There are so many great GF products out there these days, that I'm really not finding it so hard to cut it out.  

In case you are wondering, the migraines went like this over the past 19 days:  

Day 1:  migraine
Days 2 - 14:  no migraines!!!!
Day 15:  migraine
Day 16:  no migraine
Days 17 - 19: migraines

So, about 5 out of 19 days.  I know that doesn't sound like much of an improvement, but I can't ignore the streak that I had from Day 2 to 14, because that never happens.  It could be a fluke, but it gives me enough motivation to keep me at least interested in continuing with this project.  I read on the internet that it takes about 6 - 8 weeks to get the gluten completely out of your system, and then another 6 - 8 weeks after that for your body to 'heal' itself, so I've decided to extend the elimination of gluten from my diet for a full three months.

The first weekend of GF-ness, The Hubby and I went camping with three friends, Ashley, Mike and Cleary.  The equation for camping in my head is always something pretty close to "Beer + Hot Dogs + Campfire, Friends, Music = Amazing Camping Trip".  So, immediately I started to freak out when planning which groceries to buy, because both beer and hot dog buns contain gluten.  I went to the liquor store, and spent about 20 minutes locating the gluten-free beer section (it's very small), which had two types of beer available:  Bard's, and New Grist.  I had been warned on internet reviews about how awful GF beer is, so I picked up just a four-pack of each just in case.  Since that wouldn't be enough for an entire weekend, and also there was the 'what if this sucks and I am without anything, leaving me completely sober while everyone else is drinking beer, glorious beer!!???' feeling going through my head, I also bought the following, just to play it safe:

*4-pack Smirnoff Ice (I remembered a time when I made a Rocket, which is half Smirnoff Ice and half lager, and decided that I could always mask the GF beer taste with this concoction if necessary.  Normally I can't stomach an entire Smirnoff Ice on its own).  Note:  American readers, in Canada Smirnoff Ice has vodka in it rather than the malt (non gluten-free) version that sells in the US.

*6-pack Palm Bay Tangerine (same idea as the Smirnoff Ice)

*4-pack ready-to-drink Caesars (I found out afterwards that Worcestershire has gluten in it...oops)

*2 bottles of red wine, and 2 bottles of white wine

*1 bottle Skinny Girl Sangria (turns out this stuff is NOT good, according to a review from me and three of my girlfriends)

The Hubby also bought Amarula for our coffee, plus a 30-pack of Molson Canadian for himself, so we were prepared.  I don't even want to know what our liquor bill was that day.

Anyways, as it turns out, the Bard's GF beer does suck, but the New Grist was actually pretty tasty!  

The next concern was the hot dog buns, so I headed over to our local organic grocery store and bought Udi's GF buns, along with a whole bunch of other fun stuff like GF granola bars and chips.   

So, we were all set for the camping trip.  We loaded up the car, picked up our friend Cleary, and headed out of town to meet up with our friends Ashley and Mike at Strawberry Point campgrounds in Pemberton, B.C.  Sounds pretty.

We arrive, and it's like 35 degrees out at 6pm (that's 95 degrees for my American audience), and muggy.  We open the SUV door, and mosquitos swarm hungrily into the vehicle.  The campground is not actually a provincially run site, but rather a small campground up a forest service road right on a lake.  You park in a lot, and then have to lug your stuff down to the campsite area, down a huge hill (and up again and down again, to bring all of your stuff to the site).  After doing this though, you are rewarded by getting to camp right on the beach beside the lake in the forest.  And, under normal circumstances it would be quite gorgeous, except on this particular weekend...

Only, we didn't see this sign until we were already hightailing it out of there.  And, at that point the sign was quite humorous.  But, our exit didn't come until the next day...after I already had 133 mosquito bites, The Hubby had about 533 mosquito bites, and our friend Mike had well over 600.  I've come back from a camping trip with 2 or 3 bites before, but nothing ever like this.  It was...awful.  Well, the mosquitos part that is, but at least the company we were with was pretty awesome.  Every conversation revolved around mosquitos.  We tried to make the most of it while we are there, but after coming back to the campsite from a trip into town where we spent about $80 re-loading our supplies of mosquito repellant spray and coils and commenting on how being away from the mosquitos at the camp site was the happiest we had been all day, we made a game-time decision to cut our losses and head back into the city.  So, in 35 degree weather, we packed up camp and, over several trips, lugged five people's camping stuff up the huge hill back to the car.  Actually, instead of going back into the city, we took a detour to Ashley and Mike's house and set up 'camp' in their apartment for the rest of the day and night.  It was, in a word, great.  We ate all of our great camping food, drank all of our great camping booze, and played a great card game while watching the Olympics.  

And, during that evening is where I discovered this Pesto Edamame Salad that my friend Cleary had brought with her.  I had to make it again as a side dish to BBQ'd chicken for The Hubby and myself last week.  And again tonight.

I love pesto and anything that it goes on, and this salad is no exception.  You can whip this puppy up in under 10 minutes, which is great because I'm starting to want to eat it all the time.  Edamame is such a wonderful vegetable because it's so high in protein and fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and micronutrients.  It's another one of those super-foods!  In 1/2 cup of shelled edamame, you will find 11 grams of protein, 9 grams of fibre, and 10% of your daily iron requirement, at only 120 calories.  I also love that you can buy shelled edamame in the freezer section of grocery stores these days, so it's available year-round.  It's so easy to cook too, just a quick two-minute boil and you're ready to chow down.  

Plus it's funny when people say the word wrong...edda-nammy (where did the N come from?), edda-mayme, edda-maim.

Pesto Edamame Salad

2 cups frozen shelled edamame
1 cup frozen corn (or use fresh off the cob)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
3 tbsp. pesto
3 tbsp. cider vinegar

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, and add frozen edamame, frozen corn, and salt.
Frozen edamame and corn...born to be friends! 
Cook for 2 minutes, then drain and transfer to a medium-sized bowl.  Add red pepper, red onion, and pine nuts to the bowl.  Whisk together pesto and vinegar, and pour over the contents in the bowl.  Chill for at least two hours.

Note:  If you are wondering why the pictures seem to show that there are black beans in my version of the salad, it's because I burned the pine nuts terribly while toasting them.  Which is something I always do, always, because I forget about them in the oven every time.  They actually still tasted good even though they were burnt, so we threw them into the salad anyways.

Serves:  4 - 6 small portions

The Hubby's Review:  Awesome.

Recipe Source:  Adapted from my pal Cleary's recipe...thanks Cleary!


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