Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What I Can Eat...

Okay, after focusing for all those words on what has been taken away from my plate, I really need to write the other side of it! It is chilly and breezy, and raining steadily outside, so sitting and writing seems especially appealing right now!

I can eat:

Some nuts: macadamia, cashew, pistachio, hazelnut
Beans: garbanzo, black, kidney, anasazi, navy, butter
Raw Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, chia, poppy
Veggies: green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, yam, bell peppers, squash, pumpkin,  potatoes, carrots, celery
Meats: beef, pork, chicken, fish
Fruits: blueberries, strawberries, honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, lemon, lime

That is a fairly short list, but it does leave me with many options.

For example, one of my main snack foods is homemade hummus. I can't have the garlic or sesame tahini in prepared hummus, so I make my own. I use garbanzo beans, some black beans for flavor, olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of lime juice, and sea salt. It is nutrient dense, a good source of protein, high in fiber, tasty, and easy. I eat it with corn chips (definitely not low-glycemic, but I think the protein balances that out) or with yam sticks (like carrot sticks, but cut from a yam. I don't tire of them nearly as fast as I do carrot sticks!)

I sometimes make a quick little bean salad with a can of butter beans, some olive oil and fresh lemon juice, salt, and some dried herb...like oregano, thyme, or Italian seasoning.

There's a quick soup I discovered, which has saved me from "starvation" or from eating what I shouldn't a number of times. When I've been out being busy and walk in really hungry, this is a good option. I use a can of butter beans, a can of pureed butternut squash (pumpkin would also work), dried onion bits, curry powder, cumin powder and salt. I stir that together and start heating it in a pan, then add about a cup of coconut milk. Without the coconut milk, it is rather nasty. The coconut milk brings it all together into creamy goodness.

Our family has eaten a lot of soup in the last year!

Potato Soup: I found a recipe for Irish potato soup that calls for no milk at all. Diced bacon-sauteed, dried onion bits, dried thyme, potatoes, salt and water. To make it creamy, I can puree raw cashews with water and add a bit of that to the soup.  (I have read that soaking the raw cashews overnight makes for a smoother puree)

Bean with Greens and Ham Soup: Cubed ham steak, dried onion bits, dried thyme, cans of several kinds of beans (kidney, black, butter), sugar-free garlic-free chicken stock, water, sea salt. Toward the end I add greens- Swiss chard and green kale, cut into small pieces.

Anasazi Bean & Green soup: I have found dried Anasazi beans and really like the flavor. I make a soup that is basically like the one above, but with no ham, and I start the night before with the dry Anasazi beans.

Red Lentil soup: diced carrots, olive or coconut oil, dried onion bits, dried thyme, red lentils, sugar-free garlic-free chicken stock, water, a splash of lemon juice. *I read that adding the salt too soon with legumes keeps them from getting soft. Wait till they're already fully cooked before adding salt. *I also read that if you bring your liquid to a boil before adding the lentils or beans, they'll be less gassy. I sometimes add small bits of kale to this soup. If the family is in a meaty mood, I'll saute bits of ring sausage that they can add, or cook up breakfast sausage links and cut them into bites, and stir them into the soup. The ring sausage has things I can't eat, but we found a breakfast link sausage that works for me.

Brown Lentil soup: basically the same as the red lentil, but it takes twice as long to cook.

Castle B: This is one of our family puns. I researched the French soup Cassoulet, and took its basic elements to make a soup of my own. The French original takes like two days and has things like duck sausage in it. Our is bites of chicken, white beans (I usually used Cannelinni), carrots, dried onion bits, dried thyme, maybe some dried parsley, chicken stock, a splash of white wine, and water. My husband would call it Castle B as a pun on Cassoulet (which sounds like Castle A), and the name stuck. If I'm tired of eating meat, I make a chicken free version and call it Castle Bean. :)

We have found that the Tinkyada brand Brown Rice pastas (spaghetti, fettucine, elbows) work well for us. I make pesto (can't have the garlic or Parmesan in prepared pesto) to put on it, or we have it with canned or smoked salmon. I make spaghetti sauce for the family, and just discovered a tomato-free alternative that I can make for myself (I wrote about this sauce a couple of blogs ago). Another pasta option is sauteed chicken bites, with thyme and broccoli. I add cashew cream so it feels kind of like my old favorite Chicken Broccoli Fettucine Alfredo. For lunch I'll sometimes cook up some brown rice pasta and have it with steamed broccoli and chia seeds.

We also eat my husband's delicious hamburgers (I skip the bun), grilled chicken (he always makes some for me that fits my needs), grilled pork chops, and steak.

With so many varied food needs, and people eating at many different times, we all just make our own breakfasts now. My breakfast usually consists of: brown rice cooked with coconut oil, raw walnuts, raw sunflower or pumpkin seeds, raw chia seeds, and unsweetened vanilla hempmilk. It's supercharged with nutrients and I feel all virtuous and healthy when I eat it.

This isn't every single thing that I eat, but covers a lot of it. And it's always good to remind myself that despite the limits of my food world, there is still plenty of good stuff for me to enjoy.

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