Here in Illinois we are at the start of week 5 of social distancing. The weather has mostly been cloudy and rainy. The few nice days I have tried to get out and walk but my daily step counts have been abysmal. I have been working in my garden, and today am cleaning and roasting some dandelion roots to use in making tea. I have also been trying to grow some veggies from food scraps.
I have a few more started in water but I have run out of pots.
All of us are looking for comfort and grounding. Many have turned to working in their yard or potting plants on their balcony. I was so happy (there may have been some tears) when heard my favorite garden center would be open and delivering! One of the items on my to do list this week is to go through all my seeds and order more. I know I am out of radishes and am thankful to a neighbor who had some extras for me to use until I can order some online.
Another way many are looking for comfort is with baking. I have successfully created a gluten-free sourdough starter and am experimenting with new recipes. I have also been making some new soups. This soup is the best soup I have made in months. It will definitely become a regular in my food rotation.
Rutabagas are my go to replacement for potatoes. They do usually need to be cooked longer than the potatoes in a recipe when making the substitution
With the end of week three of social distancing I am reflecting on My 19 For COVID-19. I made a sourdough starter and am researching recipes. I am spending time with my new Turtle cat. And I am trying really hard to eat some salad everyday.
One of the things that I find hard on our avoidance diet is salad dressing. I like making salads but just greens with dressing often is hard since it seems like it should be fast and easy, but is not. One of the dressings that I make is the carrot ginger dressing you often see at sushi restaurants. Making it at home lets you control the consistency and the amount of oil in the dressing. In this recipe I often leave out the oil/water or add just a small amount of water to make it more pourable.
Enjoy this over greens, cucumbers and avocado, or a poke bowl
I was happy to finally find the BFree pizza at a local Aldi. Before I went nightshade-free their potato rolls were one of my favorite gluten-free breads. So I naturally thought when I did find this pizza crust everyone loved, it would contain potatoes and I would not be able to eat it. I was wrong. It is free of night shades.
There are two pizza crusts per package. One I used to make a traditional pepperoni pizza using Boar’s Head pepperoni and tomato sauce with spices. The other I drizzled with olive oil and added chopped garlic to before topping both with Aldi’s vegan white cheese shreds.
My kids said the nightshade containing pizza was good, and I enjoyed the nightshade-free pizza. The crust is somewhat dry and not as crispy as I would like, but next time I think I will precook it some before adding the toppings.
I think these crusts were a special buy since I have not seen them in a while but I hope Aldi brings them back with the rest of the gluten-free things for May when they have gluten-free awareness month.
I know I post mostly sweets on this blog. I feel that it is easier to get a snacks or meal made by someone else that is free of all the things I avoid, but cookies and other sweets are not as easy to find. My allergic child can have nightshades so I do buy store bought gluten-free treats. I just can’t eat them since most contain potato starch.
I like making this with leftover chicken and rice. Making it a fast meal during the week. When I first started making this I would replace the sesame oil with olive. It was good without it so those avoiding sesame replace it with the oil of your choice. I have come to realize one of the things I like about this is the sesame oil.
I use frozen veggies I get at Aldi and often add other veggies that I have in the fridge or freezer. I like to add corn and green beans. In the pictures you will see that I was out of carrots when I made this batch of fried rice. This recipe can easily be doubled and reheats well for leftovers the next day. You can also replace the protein with another, or leave it out and add even more vegetables. Also if you want to replace the rice with a riced vegetable that works too.
The year of the rat started last week and I celebrated with some homemade fortune cookies. You really do need to move fast when they come out of the oven to get the four on the cookie pan shaped properly. I had just watched the The Great British Baking Show (S05:E02) where the technical was fortune cookies. I don’t remember which contestant put the still warm shaped cookies inside a muffin tin, but this is definitely the best way for them to retain their shape while they cool.
They were easy to make, and it was fun to have for this years Lunar New Year. Next time I may attempt the orange flavored ones from the Great British Baking Show.
January 2020 has already been a success and a test of my word for the year.
I had three words for 2019, Connection, Comfort and Confidence. I needed all of them last year as I tried to do more professionally, put myself out there as an expert in living a life with multiple food allergies and Celiac disease, and feel comfortable in my life doing those things.
My word for this year is Refresh. There are many ways I feel like I am going through the motions in my business and in my life. There are somethings I need to go back to the drawing board on, some I need to take a step back and start again, and some I need to radically mend and shock myself with action. I need a refresh.
I think both of refreshing a computer when it is stuck and refreshing a room with a new coat of paint. I am also refreshing some of my go to recipes and reaching outside my comfort zone to expand my food knowledge and ways of cooking to support both my own eating and for those I am coaching.
I’m always looking to add more fresh fruits, veggies and greens to my menus. I feel fuller throughout the day when I add a salad to my lunch. I like making salad like Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad or some other “planned/recipe” salad. One of the reason’s I am not making salads from greens is that it is hard to find a dressing that is free of all the ingredients we avoid.
One of my #2020goals is to make dressing twice a month. There are a few I already make and like but want to add more to my rotation. I love this Strawberry Basil dressing. It is easy to make and during the summer I can use the basil from my garden. It will keep for just a few days in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. My trick in the winter is to make it with frozen strawberries. Not as flavorful as fresh picked in June but still a great dressing for greens.
Happy 2020. I took a long time off for the holidays this year. It was a much needed break for me and I was able to visit family and spend time with those I love.
Traveling can cause a lot of anxiety for those of us who have to avoid food due to Celiac Disease, Food Allergies and other food avoidance diagnosis. Extra planning for your travels and taking your own food helps ease some of the anxiety with travel. For me, if you have been following you know, I take Bobo bars or Bobo bites. I always take a reusable water bottle to fill up at the airport after going through security. I also pack a reusable thermos for hot coffee.
When planning for a trip check out the airport you will be traveling to and from ahead of time. Even if there is just the standard gas station offerings there can be some safe food. For my Dairy/Soy/Peanut/Tree nut allergic Celiac child, Lay’s potato chips are offered almost everywhere.
Now that I am back and spent the last two weekends binging three seasons of The Great British Baking Show I have so many baking ideas in my head. I love the bold flavor combinations that so many of the contestants use in their bakes. I am not very artistic and the thought of piping anything is intimidating. My baking goals for the year do include “learn how to decorate cookies and cakes.” For today I will stick with some of my tried and true recipes.
My local veggie market has had blueberries at a great price so I made blueberry crisp twice this past week. I love my Apple Crisp recipe but find this drier topping pairs well with blueberries. You could use it with any fruit, and the addition of the oatmeal is a nice texture change from the hot fruit.
I heat this up for a treat mid-day, but have been known to have it for breakfast.